Introducing Lancaster Grand’s New Foyer

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The New Foyer

Lancaster Grand is very compact considering its 460 seat capacity. It has an extremely small foyer and bar and being 238 years old, it was not designed with disabled access in mind. A foyer has been planned since 2008 following a decision to redevelop the area around the theatre and it was felt the time was right to build a new foyer to provide additional space. Since then the design has been developed to its current stunning design which was designed by 3D Reid in 2018.  Visit our fundraising pages to make a donation or email us for further information:

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The foyer will benefit theatre goers, the community and the long term future of the theatre by:

  • increasing circulation space
  • greatly improving disabled access by the installation of a platform lift
  • creating an intimate studio space for smaller productions, community groups and schools.
  • providing a spacious coffee and alcohol bar at street level.
  • providing additional space to allow the theatre to host conferences and seminars
  • providing additional income to help to ensure the theatre’s continued operation for generations to come

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The theatre is owned under a Trust arrangement by Lancaster Footlights, a registered CIO charity (number 1198714). Looking into the future, the additional income streams made possible by the new foyer will provide additional finance which will help to ensure the long term viability of this gem of a theatre.  A detailed design of the proposed new foyer has now been completed and the updated cost estimate (January 2022) is £2.84 million.

The theatre has independently raised £675K by means of donations, fund raising events and legacies with a special mention of one from Tony Yates who was an avid supporter of the Grand Theatre.  £230K has already been spent on a detailed design leaving £2.4 million still to raise.

A grant of £625K was promised as part of the city backed High Street Heritage Action Zone initiative comprising £287K from Heritage England and £337K from Lancaster City Council but, due to lack of success raising the balance due to the covid pandemic, this grant will time expire at the end of March 2023.

The project was planned to officially start with the demolition of the council owned dilapidated lean-to attached to the adjacent building.  However, that work was delayed and as a result, planning permission time expired in January 2022.  Minor improvements were then made to the design which now includes a wheelchair ramp to provide an independent self-evacuation route for wheelchair users and plans to make the plaza outside the building a car free public space to match up with the plans for the proposed Canal Quarter redevelopment to the rear of the theatre.  A small car park extension was added for theatre vehicles.

This updated scheme was given planning approval at the 30th January meeting of the Planning Committee and the theatre intends to restart a major fund-raising drive once the lean to has been demolished.