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Green light for Liverpool theatre plans

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The first phase of a £10.6m project to refurbish Royal Court Theatre Liverpool is to start in February 2012 after receiving support from the Heritage Lottery Funding (HLF).

An £867,800 grant has been awarded to the Royal Court Liverpool Trust (RCLT) towards a major Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM)-designed overhaul of the historic venue.

AHMM were selected to design the refurbishment after being one of seven shortlisted firms and proposed a phased scheme in order to allow the theatre to operate as much as possible.

Improvements will comprise an enlarged entrance and foyer area; upgraded bars and public space; and a lift to the circle and balcony, as well as a rooftop bar/restaurant.

A £1 levy was added to the price of all tickets in March 2010 in order to help raise funds for the plans, which has generated more than £200,000 of match-funding towards the HLF bid.

Meanwhile, RLCT secured a long-term lease to operate the venue from Liverpool City Council in April 2010, which has enabled it to progress the renovation of the Grade II-listed venue.

Gillian Miller, the trust's founder and chief executive, said: "This grant and vote of confidence from such a nationally important body as the Heritage Lottery Fund means that we can begin to turn our plans for the building into reality."

Sara Hilton, head of the HLF North West, added: "With our support it will be conserved and renovated so that people from across the city can enjoy the Royal Court experience for many generations to come."

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The first phase of a £10.6m project to refurbish Royal Court Theatre Liverpool is to start in February 2012 after receiving support from the Heritage Lottery Funding (HLF).
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