Iconic cultural landmark scoops £1.47m to help secure future

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One of Birmingham’s iconic cultural landmarks the Birmingham Repertory Theatre (The REP) has received £1.47m to transform its public space.

Starting in July, the ‘Open House’ project coincides with the theatre’s celebration of 50 years on Centenary Square and will help The REP to secure its future.

The works are estimated to complete early in the New Year in time for the city’s cultural programme which is running in parallel with the Commonwealth Games.

The funding came from the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) through its Growing Places Fund.

It will enable The REP to create new public spaces with improved café and restaurant facilities to help generate additional revenue.

Anita Bhalla, GBSLEP board director for creative industries, said: “Across the region and the city, you can really feel the excitement for the Commonwealth Games next year. Matching the sporting spectacle will be a six-month long arts festival that will bring together our brilliant artists, creatives, businesses, and communities.

“Cultural venues like The REP will be at the heart of it all and that’s why it is so encouraging that we can, through our Growing Places Fund, support them in their vision for making their venue more inviting and accessible for their visitors, as well as greater space for performances and events.”

The funding will help The REP improve access to the revamped Centenary Square.

The REP’s executive director Rachael Thomas said: “The GBSLEP’s funding will help us attract new audiences and income streams, allowing us to move towards a more sustainable and resilient future and play our part at such an important moment for the city and region.”