Royal Ballet extension could put city arts on world stage £4.5m development will create major new dance studio
AMAJOR new dance facility at the home of Birmingham Royal Ballet has been granted £4.5 million to help put the region’s arts on the global stage.
The rooftop space will house Dance Hub Birmingham, aimed at developing the West Midlands as an international centre of excellence for dance.
A large dance studio, changing facilities, office space, reception area and two meeting rooms will be created.
The extension, behind the Hippodrome, in Thorp Street, will enable 100 more dance performances per year and is expected to increase audience numbers to 15,000 at the Birmingham Royal Ballet venue.
The Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has allocated £1.48 million of Local Growth Fund to the project with a further £3 million coming from Arts Council England.
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.”
She added: “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 regional economy.” Other partners working on the project include Birmingham Hippodrome, training group DanceXchange and sector body One Dance UK. 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. vibrancy of our
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> Anita Bhalla