By Hayley Longster
Plans to provide extra funding for the expansion of West Yorkshire Playhouse have been approved by Leeds City Council at an Executive Board meeting today.
The plans follow the recent announcement that Leeds will bid to become a European Capital of Culture in 2023.
It is hoped the new extension to the theatre and improved access to it from the city centre shopping precinct will encourage the Arts Council to grant the Playhouse even more funding.
An application for refurbishment monies to the Arts Council was refused in 2013.
Both these sources of funding could provide a vital contribution to the health of the cultural commerce of the city and hence encourage the European Capital of Culture committee to look favourably on Leeds.
Councillor Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council, said at the meeting: “The Playhouse is actually very close to the city centre but in most people’s minds it’s miles away because of the access problems we have due to the road structure and the bus station around Quarry Hill.
“The Victoria Gate development is a real opportunity not only to enhance the theatre by looking at the creation of a new entrance, but also to address the problematic road that runs in between it and the city.”