Barclays Capital has extended its partnership with the Donmar Warehouse to support the purchase and conversion of rehearsal, education and administration space.
Under artistic director Michael Grandage’s tenure, the Donmar Warehouse has secured two major capital assets in purchasing both the theatre site on Earlham Street on a 125 year lease, and more recently, 1 Dryden Street, Covent Garden for rehearsal, education and office space on a 112 year lease. This marks a significant step for the charity and for the independent future of the Donmar as a producing theatre.
The Donmar, which, until now, hasn’t owned its own offices, education space, rehearsal rooms or theatre, has set aside reserves over the last few years to make capital purchases a priority. The revenue has been generated from many of Grandage’s productions staged outside the Donmar from Guys and Dolls to last year’s Red, and has enabled the company to build a designated capital fund under his tenure. This reserve coupled with a generous donation from the company ‘s long term principal sponsor Barclays Capital means work can begin on Donmar Dryden Street – a 19th century unoccupied warehouse, with the company due to take up residence in 2014.
The Donmar Warehouse currently has to rent a variety of different spaces across London for its rehearsal, auditions, office staff and education work. Donmar Dryden Street will become the company’s creative home and enable the company to continue to achieve all its artistic ambitions to the highest standards and also overcome many practical and financial constraints imposed by the present situation. The new building will allow the Donmar significantly to extend its education work for young people and students
Artistic Director of the Donmar Warehouse, Michael Grandage, said today, “In today’s marketplace, it isn’t quite enough to hand over a theatre with a strong reputation; it needs to have security as well. I am delighted that after nearly a decade at the helm, I leave the Donmar financially confident with two large capital assets at the centre of its portfolio. From owning nothing, the Donmar now looks to the future with its own theatre, rehearsal space, education space and office space occupying these two prime sites in Covent Garden. I am indebted to all the people and sponsors including Barclays Capital who have helped us realise this ambition over many years, not least members of the public who have supported us by attending our work in the West End and abroad.”
Rich Ricci, Co-Chief Executive of Barclays Capital, said, “Barclays Capital has a proud tradition of supporting and contributing to the communities in which we operate and we are delighted to have extended our partnership with the Donmar Warehouse. This is part of our wider programme to make a difference to our local communities and give our support to the arts.”
The Donmar has also received significant monies from parties including The Clore Duffield Foundation and Christina Smith to enable the purchase and conversion of Donmar Dryden Street.