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Haworth Tompkins wins Everyman Theatre go-ahead

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Haworth Tompkins has bagged planning permission for its £28million Everyman and Playhouse Theatre redevelopment in Liverpool just weeks after the regional development agency withdrew its £2.4 million backing for the project

Last month North West Development Agency (NWDA) axed its funding for the scheme, which will more than doubling the size of the theatre, as part of wider £52 million budget cuts (see below).

However the theatre has vowed to press on with the redevelopment which could start on site next year.

A spokesman for the theatre said: ‘Since the recent announcement £2.4million NWDA funds would no longer be available to support the project, the Everyman management team has been engaged in positive discussions with all project stakeholders to close this gap and maintain the quality and momentum of the project.

‘All remain fully committed to making it happen.’

The project includes:

  • A new 400-seat theatre including second level of seating
  • A recreation of the existing Everyman Bistro bar and restaurant
  • A dedicated space for working with youth theatre, schools and community groups
  • Front-of-house, catering and bar facilities
  • Rehearsal space and production workshops

Previous story (AJ 29.07.10)

NWDA deliver £52 million funding cuts

Architectural projects in the North West of England have been dealt a financial blow, as their NDWA funding has been slashed

The North West Development Agency (NWDA) has revealed its plans to axe funding for more than 100 projects across the region, in an attempt to cut £52m from its budget.

Among the projects affected are the Haworth Tompkins plans to build a new £28 million Everyman and Playhouse Theatre (pictured) in Liverpool.

Steve Broomhead, chief executive of the NWDA, said: “The Everyman project is particularly disappointing for us as it was a legacy of the Capital of Culture.’

He continued: ‘It is like a lot of projects that are having to seek alternative funding sources - it’s not going to be easy.’

However, Haworth Tompkins are remaining positive. The architects said: ‘The North West Development Agency has announced today that certain projects which had been under consideration for funding cannot now be supported. One of these projects is the new Everyman. This means a loss of £2.4m of the total project funding of £28m.

We had been notified of this prior to today’s press announcement, and we are working in a very positive spirit with our other partners and stakeholders - including Arts Council England, Liverpool Vision, The Mersey Partnership and Liverpool City Council - to make sure that this does not affect the momentum or the quality of the Everyman redevelopment.’

Proctor Matthew’s £225m Natural Vision project for Chester Zoo will also suffer at cut. The project dubbed, ‘the Eden of the North’ was expecting £40m from the agency which will no longer arrive.

Other projects set to suffer include: URBIS’ new National Football Museum in Manchester, OMI Architects’ All Souls Church Restoration in Bolton, RTKL’s Talbot Gateway in Blackpool and Carey Jones’ Church Wharf in Bolton.

The steep cuts are in preparation for the abolition of the NWDA in 2012. This follows news that nine RDAs will be cut in total, to be replaced by Local Enterprise Partnerships. The South West RDA, one of the nine, employs around 350 people, and is responsible for distributing £230m of European Union funds across the region between 2009 and 2011. The Yorkshire Forward, also to be axed, creates around £4.50 per £1 of public money for the local economy.

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