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The New Vic Theatre will receive £175,000 from Arts Council England, thanks to its Government-funded Capital Investment Programme.

The investment will contribute towards the total cost of a project focused on energy use reduction across the theatre, using cutting edge technology to manage heating and ventilation plant demand. The funding will be used to make targeted environmental improvements to reduce energy and carbon usage across the building, including upgrading current windows to make them more efficient, and removing original, inefficient boilers, replacing them with modern energy efficient, controllable units. Solar panels and a smart heating control system with individual room control will also be installed to significantly reduce energy usage and costs.

The New Vic will be the first theatre company to work with the internationally recognised, ground-breaking Keele University Smart Energy Network Demonstrator (SEND), which will see energy generation, distribution, storage, forecasting and energy balancing intelligently carried out across different energy sources. Sustainability experts at Keele University will be key partners at each stage of the project.

This funding will enable the New Vic to continue providing high quality creative and cultural experiences for people in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Stoke-on-Trent, and Staffordshire. Europe’s first purpose-built theatre-in-the-round, the New Vic produces around eight major productions a year; alongside a programme of community and education work that reaches extensively into its local area and beyond, engaging a wide range of people across different ages and backgrounds.

The Capital Investment Programme supports the Arts Council’s mission to ensure communities across the country have the infrastructure where creativity for everyone can thrive. 

Fiona Wallace, Managing Director at the New Vic, said: “This welcome investment from Arts Council England will enable us to implement some significant changes to reduce and manage our impact on the environment. The New Vic is an amazing theatre but building technology and energy efficiency has moved a long way since we opened in 1986.  This new investment will support both practical improvements to our building and also an exciting partnership working with the sustainability experts at Keele University. Future savings made on energy and maintenance costs will help to support us in continuing to produce high-quality theatre and engaging more people from our area in the arts.”

The New Vic’s environmental improvement project has also received investment from the Theatres Trust’s Theatre Improvement Scheme, in association with Wolfson Foundation.