The Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch has released details of the latest developments it has experienced under its QNew Transformation programme including more capital funding and upgraded equipment.

Back in January and February this year, the Theatre campaigned to bag a capital grant from the Tesco Bags of Help initiative together with Groundwork London towards its Q Access strand of the £1 million pound QNew Transformation project. Voted by customers in the local area, the Theatre is delighted to have been awarded the top prize of £4,000. This grant will be used towards refurbishing its two disabled toilets and the installation of a push button powered operated door. These essential changes will ensure all visitors have better access to facilities that accommodate their needs.

Alec Brown, Tesco’s Head of Community, said: ‘Bags of Help has been a fantastic success and we’ve been overwhelmed by the response from customers, who get to decide how the money will be spent in their community.’

Alex Forrester, Corporate Partnerships Manager, Groundwork London: ‘It’s always fantastic to see projects being given the chance to make a real difference within their local communities through Bags of Help. We’re proud to play a part in this scheme in partnership with Tesco to help community projects get the opportunities they deserve to develop and flourish.’

Groundwork London is a social and environmental charity who help the capital’s local communities build resilience. Groundwork is administering the Bags of Help programme in partnership with Tesco.

New sprung oak floorboard effect flooring has been laid in the Theatre’s new rehearsal space to provide a degree of bounce that flexes under impact. Performers need a floor to absorb the shock of repeated impact to their joints and reduce injury from falls. This follows the recent installation of new windows, a curtain rail and mirror curtains, cork boards, coat hooks and wifi, which have helped make the space more practical and stimulating for actors and creatives to work in.

A new washing machine has been installed in the Theatre’s laundry room which will provide the Wardrobe Manager with better facilities to maintain costumes. The Theatre has its own Wardrobe Department where costumes are lovingly created on-site for its produced productions. The Theatre’s workshop has also had its paint bridge refurbished to increase its longevity, which enables its scenic artists to paint cloths and scenery at height safely. The paint bridge is an asset to the Theatre as there are not many paint bridges left in London.

The Theatre has been fundraising towards innovating the iconic building since September with contributions coming from capital grants, donations and the Theatre’s introduction of a 65p QNew Transformation fee. This came into effect on the Theatre’s 65th birthday, Friday 21 September 2018. Since then, customers have already helped the Theatre raise a public contribution towards QNew of £48899.30.

QNew is an exciting programme of building improvements which will allow the Theatre to make high quality theatre in developed spaces, work with more young people and community groups, offer an increasingly comfortable experience to audiences, be more open and accessible to D/deaf and disabled people, and keep the Theatre alive as a safe and environmentally friendly community hub, well into the future.

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