£4.5m in new funding for Birmingham Royal Ballet expansion

£4.5m in new funding for Birmingham Royal Ballet expansion



CGI of the Dance Hub extension on top of Birmingham Royal Ballet

A rooftop extension to the home of Birmingham Royal Ballet to create a new dance facility has been granted nearly £4.5 million in new funding.

The expansion of the building, in Thorp Street, will house a large dance studio, changing facilities, office space, reception area and two meeting rooms.

The development will also offer improved accessibility and better routes through to rehearsal and production facilities.

The Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership has allocated £1.48 million of Local Growth Fund to the project with a further £3 million coming from Arts Council England.

The rooftop extension will house Dance Hub Birmingham, a sector-led initiative aimed at developing the West Midlands as an international centre of excellence for dance.

It will create 17 jobs, five new apprenticeships and enable 100 more dance performances per year which is expected to increase audience numbers to 15,000 at the Birmingham Royal Ballet venue.

Other partners working on this project are Birmingham Hippodrome, training group DanceXchange and sector body One Dance UK.

LEP board director Anita Bhalla said: “Our investment into the Dance Hub Birmingham development will bring significant economic and cultural benefits to our young and diverse population.

“The project will attract more dance companies from across the country to this new space, creating more jobs and opportunities for our growing leisure tourism sector.

“The performing arts scene in Greater Birmingham continues to go from strength to strength – more visitors are coming to the area for our cultural offer, spending more money here than ever.

“This funding continues our commitment to supporting the creative sector which contributes to the vibrancy of our regional economy.”

Hippodrome chief executive Fiona Allan added: “This is thrilling news for Birmingham, home to the largest cluster of dance companies and performers outside London.

“Birmingham Hippodrome is proud to be leading on the construction of this extension to our campus, working with local partners and sector initiative Dance Hub Birmingham to provide more facilities and jobs locally for dancers and more opportunities for everyone to enjoy dance across the region and beyond. “

The development is scheduled for completion in May 2019.

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