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Essex Theatre Awarded £5k Grant from Theatres Trust to Improve Accessibility

The Mercury Theatre Colchester has been selected as one of six recipients of the Theatres Trust Accessible Theatre Scheme to help make their new building more inclusive.

Theatres Trust, the national advisory public body for theatres, works to ensure theatres meet the needs of their communities and improving the accessibility of theatres is a vital part of its remit. Thanks to funding from the Theatre Development Fund, grants were offered to improve the accessibility of professional theatre buildings for audiences, performers and staff, with successful projects split between building works and the installation of assistive technology.

As part of the Mercury’s wider £9.8 million Mercury Rising redevelopment work, this Theatres Trust funding will enable hearing loops to be installed to support audiences and hirers, staff and artists in all public areas of the theatre, including rehearsal spaces, meeting rooms and the new box office. The technology provides a subtle way for those who use hearing devices to benefit from a better quality of sound and a better overall experience.

Theatres Trust Director, Jon Morgan, said:

Responding to the pandemic has been at the forefront of everyone’s minds this year, but it is important that theatres continue on the journey to being truly inclusive spaces and that accessibility does not fall by the wayside. We are therefore delighted to be able to support the Mercury Theatre with its project, which will make the venue more accessible.

Jon Morgan, Theatres Trust Director

A total of £25k has been awarded to improve accessibility through the Accessible Theatre scheme. In addition to the Mercury Theatre, Barn Arts, Banchory; Bristol Old Vic, Bristol; Live Theatre, Newcastle; Spire Arts Centre, Brighton and Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford also received a share of the grant.

We are delighted to have been chosen as a recipient of this grant, one of the fundamental aspects of our Mercury Rising redevelopment work has been to improve accessibility in a variety of ways throughout our entire building. Installing hearing loops in public areas will allows us to continue to support ALL of our guests, whether they are audience members, hirers or artists. We look forward to welcoming our audiences back to take full advantage of this as well as our many other additions to the building, just as soon as it is safe to do so.

Steve Mannix, Mercury Theatre Executive Director