11 February, 2019

Improved Access at Pitlochry Through New Funding

Pitlochry Festival Theatre received news of a £7,624 grant from The Theatres Trust to specifically improve building access.

The Theatres Trust is the National Advisory Public Body for UK Theatres, established to promote and provide specialist advice for the protection of theatres, supporting those who are looking to make their audiences more comfortable and performances accessible.

Projects funded by the Theatres Trust Theatre Improvement Scheme, in partnership with the Wolfson Foundation, improve accessibility by installing leading technologies and offering solutions to the challenges historic theatres face when looking to improve the audience experience.

In that spirit, and as part of awards totalling £100,000, wheelchair users, ambulant visitors, and those with pushchairs visiting Pitlochry Festival Theatre, will soon have independent access to an automatic opening device replacing the heavy sets of double front doors. Pitlochry joins many other theatres across the UK benefitting from the awards, including Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough, Old Vic in London, and The Octagon in Bolton, improving access through a number of touchpoints such as captioning equipment, assistive listening systems, ground floor toilet and box office access.

Kris Bryce, Executive Director of Pitlochry Festival Theatre commented: “We are very pleased to receive this support from The Theatres Trust in a year when we are particularly exploring Theatre For All: introducing Dementia-Friendly and Relaxed Performances, as well as taking theatre out into the community for those who can’t come to us. These new programmes reinforce our existing provision of Audio Description, Captioned and Interpreted Performances and Touch Tours, and new, automatic doors are a welcome addition to our wider participation programme to truly have open doors for everyone.”

Alan Ayckbourn, Theatres Trust Ambassador, playwright and theatre director said: “For me it took a major stroke in 2006 to make me aware of the appalling lack of provision for people with disabilities in many of our public buildings. Naturally, in my case this applied to most theatre buildings. Since then, much progress has been made... I do hope other theatres will follow suit, so that soon talk of improving accessibility is a thing of the past.”

Tom Stickland, Theatres Trust Theatres Adviser said: “Everyone should be able to enjoy the full experience a trip to the theatre offers, regardless of their access requirements. With this funding, in partnership with the Wolfson Foundation, we are able to support seven great projects and 13 theatres around the country, who, by working with their audiences, have found meaningful solutions that allow better access.”

To find out more about Pitlochry Festival Theatre’s new and existing accessibility programmes, call the Box Office team on 01796 484626 or click here to go online.

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