Thanks to exciting size and diversity expansion this autumn, Harrogate Theatre becomes one of the largest arts companies in the north.
Harrogate International Centre is the latest venue to feature Harrogate Theatres programming, which alongside the theatre’s main house and Studio space and Royal Hall programme adds up to a whopping 3560 seats and four venues under the Harrogate Theatres umbrella.
With the HIC in its programming arsenal, Harrogate Theatres can bring bigger acts to the District. Programming is currently in progress, but acts currently on the roster include Jools Holland, Deacon Blue, Kate Rusby and Britain’s Got Talent winners Collabro – more to be announced very soon.
The Harrogate International Centre has a capacity of 2000 seats
This autumn also sees the theatre launch a brand new space: Hive. Located a few doors down from Harrogate Theatre, 12A Oxford Street is across two floors and has been named Hive to reflect the buzzing range of outreach activities that will be taking place there, including youth theatre, drama workshops for toddlers, a poetry group for senior citizens and many other opportunities for all sections of the Harrogate and District community to learn through creativity. The space will also be used by Harrogate Theatre’s ever-growing roll call of associate companies, helping young, up-and-coming artists to create exciting new works.
Speaking about the twin announcement, David Bown, CEO of Harrogate Theatres said: Harrogate Theatre has now extended its provision at both ends of the artistic spectrum. Hive allows us to provide specialist accommodation for our youth theatre, education and outreach work and our artist development scheme, and programming the Harrogate International Centre enables my team to engage with some of the most exciting and well-known performers in the world. Bringing together the theatre, the Studio, the Royal Hall, HIC and Hive under one artistic programme is very thrilling indeed – it will enhance the cultural offer for residents throughout the north of England and make a visit to Harrogate an attractive prospect at any time of the year.
Hive will be headed up by Hannah Draper, head of education, who said: Hive is testament to the fact that education and outreach is at the core of Harrogate Theatre’s artistic activity. At a time when education departments in theatres across the country are having their activity reduced by short-sighted funding cuts, Harrogate is sending a bold message that it wants the community to be at the heart of the organisation.
This expansion follows on from another hugely successful year for Harrogate Theatres in 2013/14, which saw 114,197 tickets sold, 75 per cent of overall seating capacity filled and an economic impact for the local economy of a staggering £16,283,667.
At the beginning of July, Harrogate Theatres launches its new programme for September 2014 to March 2015 and it’s diverse and sparky range of entertainment looks set to capitalise on all of the good work so far.