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Cash bids to enhance Stratford's visitor experience

Wellesbourne Airfield
Wellesbourne Airfield

The Birthplace Trust is seeking cash to help its proposals to develop an international visitor centre in Henley Street and improve the conservation and setting of the Birthplace.

At this stage both the RSC and SBT approaches to the CWLEP are early ‘expressions of interest’.

A Birthplace Trust spokeswoman told the Herald this week: “It fits in with our work that is currently funded by Arts Council England’s museum resilience fund. It’s just an expression of interest at this stage and not a confirmed project proposal.”

She added: “The SBT commissioned feasibility work in 2011-2012 to clarify opportunities and constraints around a re-development of the Shakespeare Centre. However, it was clear that more work was needed to crystallise our ideas.

“In 2015 we successfully applied for around £450,000 museum resilience funding from Arts Council England (ACE) to provide the vital resource to develop the concept including audience research and business planning which will be completed in March 2017. After this the SBT will evaluate the outcomes to progress from the research into the delivery phase.”

A spokeswoman for the RSC told the Herald: “Along with a number of Coventry and Warwickshire councils, business and cultural organisations, we have put forward an early ‘expression of interest’ to the Coventry and Warwickshire LEP, in response to their request, for the second growth deal funding round which may run nationwide in 2017.

“Our outline proposal is for support towards the proposed redevelopment of our costume workshop. We are in the early stages of developing the scope for this project and Arts Council England have already awarded us a capital grant towards the renovation of the space.

“The project would not take place until 2017 at the earliest, as our focus is on the completion and re-opening of our current building projects, the Swan Wing and The Other Place.”

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