Capital Project

‘It is a privilege to be appointed to The Old Vic’s Board. Working on its stage has always brought me great joy and to now have the opportunity to help support its future is a responsibility that I take very seriously. Providing young people with opportunities to access the arts is vital if we are to educate effectively, inspire creative imagination and equip them with the skills to navigate through life. The Old Vic’s recognition of this is inspiring and I look forward to working with them to make their future plans a reality’

Glenda Jackson, Trustee

In 2017, The Old Vic completed the first steps in a transformational programme of investment and renewal.

An ambitious £20 million multi-phased capital building project will transform the audience experience, educate and inspire the next generation and unlock new audiences and income streams, allowing us to move towards a more sustainable model of self-reliance.

Phase 1

So far, as part of the first phase of works, we have upgraded the façade of the building including the restoration of the Emma Cons plaque in October 2017, renewed all external signage and replaced the front doors to enhance accessibility and security. Work is now under way on the development of a new side entrance and front of house spaces to improve disabled access and provide much needed extra ladies’ loos. A technical upgrade of the auditorium and a restoration of the roof will follow.

Phase 2

A new five-storey Annex will be developed through an innovative cross-borough partnership with the two local London boroughs which The Old Vic predominantly serves: Lambeth and Southwark. If approved, the partnership will be an innovative cross-borough funding arrangement which would see each borough loan the theatre £3.75m* towards the £12m total required. At their meeting on 16 July, Southwark Cabinet will consider plans to approve the loan which will be paid back over a 10-year period. Lambeth Council is set to consider making a similar loan on 22 July. If greenlit, the partnership will provide millions of pounds’ worth of social value for those who live and work in both boroughs. The Old Vic will fundraise to repay the loan over a 10-year period through philanthropic support – in addition to meeting its annual revenue requirement of £4m fundraising income.

The £12m Annex will house the Clore Learning Centre with integrated education offices, a library of playtexts freely available to schools and visitors, a lively Café-Workspace, much-needed back of house space for The Old Vic’s staff and companies and a studio theatre space.

Through the creation of The Annex, The Old Vic will double the number of people benefitting from its work each year, unlock access to an ongoing income stream and have the ability to mount studio theatre-style performances, diversifying the offer with intimate drama, music, comedy and dance.

We are a charity which breaks even each year by raising £3.9 million from our generous supporters. And, unlike most others, we have no regular government funding to bridge the gap. Income from our box office and our bars also helps sustain us. If we don’t succeed in our mission to broaden and increase our audiences and restore our building in which to welcome them, there’s a genuine risk that The Old Vic will cease to exist as a theatre producing work, or potentially as a theatre at all.

There is no other theatre this size with this level of affordability, social conscience and creative innovation operating today. It must be upheld for tomorrow’s artists, audiences and young people — for whom the possibilities are limitless.

The Old Vic Annex Press Release Support OV Tomorrow