Bennetts Associates' £100 million-revamp of the Royal Shakespeare Company's home in Stratford-upon-Avon has been given a huge boost thanks to a multi-million pound windfall.
Regional development agency Advantage West Midlands has donated £20 million to help with the overhaul of the existing Grade II*-listed theatre, built in 1932.
The London-based practice took over the project last year after Erick van Egeraat's scheme collapsed in early 2004.
Bennetts' proposals include retaining the existing Art Deco interior, such as the foyer, and creating a new 1,000-seat auditorium, bars, restaurants and shops.
In addition to the latest grant, the Arts Council has already agreed to give £50 million towards the project and if the remaining funds are found, work is expected to start in April next year. by Richard Waite