• Public show support for future reopening of ‘Theatre at Risk’

    A study undertaken as the first step of the project to find a possible future use for the historic Grand Theatre in Doncaster has demonstrated that there is significant public support with more than 92% of respondents1 saying they would get behind the Grand Theatre if reopened.

    An ornate Grade II listed Victorian theatre, the Grand Theatre has been closed for more than 25 years, and has been on the Theatres at Risk Register since 2006. The first phrase of a viability study was completed following a grant award from Theatres Trust, the national public advisory body for theatres, with additional match funding from Doncaster Council.

    The study also showed that there is a market for a reopened Grand Theatre to host a range of events including musicals, popular music and comedy, as well as being used as space for hire for a variety of community activities. The study did however recommend that given the scale of any restoration project it would be best to a take a phased “meantime use” approach, meaning any redevelopment would happen incrementally, tackling smaller sections of the building at a time.

    The project has brought together key parties, including the building owner Frenchgate Shopping Centre, the Friends of Doncaster Grand Theatre, Theatres Trust and Doncaster Council resulting in the formation of a Stakeholder Group, who will continue to work together to explore options for the building.

    The next step will involve commissioning further research into architectural options for the Theatre and a more detailed plan for a phased approach as to its restoration. If a viable way forward can be identified, this could then be presented to potential funders.

    Janina McBride, Theatres At Risk Adviser at Theatres Trust, comments “We believe every theatre on our Theatres at Risk list has real potential to be returned for use by their communities, so we are pleased to see that this study has concluded that there could be a market for a reopened Grand Theatre, and we look forward to continuing to support Doncaster Grand as plans progress.

    Ken Waight, Chair of Friends of Doncaster Grand Theatre, comments “The need for a Feasibility report was highlighted some years ago and now that it’s here, it offers some sensible and hopefully workable possibilities for the future of the Grand. It is realistic in what is suggested, with live theatre an important, but not exclusive element for its future. The Friends support the proposals and want to work with the other stakeholders, to help take them forward.

    Karen Staniforth, General Manager, Frenchgate Shopping Centre comments “The study has provided an essential first steps towards realising a potential long-term vision for the Future of the Grand, and the contribution this could make the new City’s Arts and Culture and economic growth. It was great to see the results of the Community survey, reporting a positive response in securing a future for the Grand.

    Cllr Nigel Ball, Cabinet member for Public Health, Leisure, Culture and Planning at Doncaster Council, said: “We know how much our residents take pride in the heritage of Doncaster – and this Theatre remains close to the heart of many who have lived in and around Doncaster for many years. It is exciting to see so many partners come together and create a real momentum behind this historic building and I look forward and support more progress being made on this project. My thanks go to all those who have been involved in the study so far.

    Doncaster Grand was one of 15 theatres to receive funding over the three years of the Theatres at Risk Capacity Building Programme, with the project receiving a grant for £11,500 in 2021. Run by the Theatres Trust, the programme was designed to support theatres on the Theatres Trust’s Theatres at Risk Register to commission expert advice and acquire the skills and knowledge to push forward capital projects to help save their theatres.



    To contact Doncaster Council’s media team – email communications@doncaster.gov.uk or telephone 01302 737773.

    Theatres Trust

    Theatres Trust is the national advisory public body for theatres. They believe that current and future generations should have access to good quality theatre buildings where they can be inspired by, and enjoy, live performance. They champion the future of live performance by protecting and supporting excellent theatre buildings which meet the needs of their communities. They do this by providing advice on the design, planning, development and sustainability of theatres, campaigning on behalf of theatres old and new and offering financial assistance through grants.

    Theatres at Risk Register

    The Theatres at Risk Register is published annually by the Theatres Trust to highlight and support the theatre buildings under threat across the UK. There are 41 theatres on the 2022 list, which was announced in February. Every theatre on the register has strong architectural merit or cultural heritage and the potential to be returned to its original performance use and be a real asset to its community. Since 2006 Theatres Trust has helped save more than 80 theatres on the Theatres at Risk list.

    1 92.4% of 3,785 respondents

  • Save The Date: AGM 2022

    Save the date for our first AGM in over 2 years!

    We will be holding our first AGM since 2019, having postponed the last 2 years due to the pandemic, on:

    Monday 16th May 2022, 7:30pm

    Taking place at Doncaster Little Theatre the evening will comprise of the Friends AGM followed by some light entertainment.
    The bar will be open with a range of drinks and snacks available.

    If you wish to extend your evening there are plenty of restaurants available within walking distance.
    Car parking is also available next to the theatre or within a short walk, however these are private pay and display car parks.

    All current members will be receiving their AGM invites by Email where possible (or post where required).

    Anyone wishing to attend the meeting must be a current member or accompanying a current member.
    You may join or renew on the night, however only current members who were active during the previous membership year may vote.

    If you have further queries please feel free to contact us.

  • Feasibility Study: Consultation

    Following a grant from the Theatres Trust, theatresearch theatre consultants have been appointed by The Grand Theatre Doncaster Stakeholder Group (which comprises Doncaster Council, Frenchgate Ltd. Partnership, Doncaster Grand Theatre Trust and the Theatres’ Trust) to look at the various options available in relation to the potential future use for the Grand Theatre.

    To get a better understanding of how the theatre could be used and what organisations would be interested in using it our consultants need your input.

    We would therefore like to ask you, our supporters, to complete the survey available on the consultation website.

    If you know any organisations, or individuals, who would be interesting in using or visiting the Grand in the future, please send them to the consultation website so that they too can complete the survey.

    The deadline for taking part in the consultation is 11th March 2022.

    If you require any further information on the consultation, please contact info@theatresearch.co.uk or telephone 07711 124 118.

    We look forward to sharing with you the results of the study, in the future.

  • A Night of Old Time Music Hall and Theatre

    Dr Ann Featherstone (Public Speakers Corner) Presents

    A Night of Old Time Music Hall and Theatre

    A Power Point Presentation with songs and music, with buffet supper at Doncaster Conservative Club.

    "Dr Ann Featherstone does an excellent presentation of Old Time Music Halls and their famous stars many of whom appeared at the Grand and at the old Theatre that stood in the Market Place. I have had excellent reports of a very enjoyable evenings. So please come along and bring your friends and join in the songs." Margaret Herbert, Friends Chairperson

    Tickets are £10 per person

    To book call 0300 302 33 21
    Tickets are also available from Doncaster Conservative Club.

  • Places for Wyre'd & Wonderful 2018 are On Sale!

    Back by popular demand, Wyre'd & Wonderful, our summer boat trip!

    This 3 hour trip taking in the scenery along the River Don which includes entertainment from Alex Falcon & Sam W Wright.
    We will also be holding a raffle, and of course the on board bar will be open! (Note: The bar is cash only)

    Places are £12 per person.

    To book and pay online visit our event page, payment via PayPal.
    To book and pay offline call us on 0300 302 33 21 or message us, payment via cash, cheque or card.
    For this event we are operating a guest list (no tickets are issued).

    The Boat Inn will be open for food before and after our boat trip, and is highly recommended by a number of our committee. It is advised that you book your table in advance as they do get very busy, you can do so via their website where you can also view a copy of their menu.

    Limited parking is available at The Boat Inn, however you will need to go in to register your car before boarding the boat.

    Photo I.D. may be required for the purchase of age restricted products, and to confirm identity of any lead booker.
    Admission may be denied to anyone deemed under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, please drink responsibly.