“The Everyman is a real gem in Liverpool ’s cultural life and while it will have a new look, it will retain its unique spirit.”
A report submitted to the planning committee described the new Everyman as retaining “the character and charm of the existing theatre whilst providing vastly enhanced facilities that will make a positive cultural contribution”, noting that the project will be of “benefit to the local economy and provide enhanced employment opportunities”.
The planning application was submitted in May, when CABE (the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment) described the design, by prominent theatre architect Haworth Tompkins, as “an exemplar in all aspects of its design”.
The designs include new incarnations of the Everyman’s dynamic and inclusive 400-seat ‘thrust’ stage auditorium, legendary basement Bistro and iconic Everyman sign.
These will be complemented by vital facilities it currently lacks, many of which will also serve its sister theatre, the Playhouse. These will include a youth and community space for the theatres’ work with education and community groups; rehearsal space, workshops and offices for production staff, and a hub for writers to develop their work.
The £28m redevelopment is scheduled to go on site in 2011 so that the new Everyman will open in 2013.
Since the recent announcement £2.4m NWDA funds would no longer be available to support the project, the Everyman management team says it has been engaged in discussions with project stakeholders to close the gap.
Executive director Deborah Aydon said, “This is a fantastic endorsement by the city council and a very positive signal to our stakeholders and funding partners. It will be a great boost to ongoing negotiations and help maintain the strong momentum of the Everyman redevelopment.”
Artistic director Gemma Bodinetz said: “Over the summer we have been holding public presentations and drop in sessions, continuing th
e consultation with the many people who care passionately about their Everyman. We have been overwhelmed by the positive response to the new design and with the desire that this greener, more accessible and inclusive vision of the Everyman and Bistro becomes a reality in the near future.”