Save the
VICTORIA Theatre Salford

Group dedicated to the acquisition and restoration of the Victoria Theatre, Great Clewes Street, Salford
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Still ‘At Risk’ But A Step Closer To Being ‘Saved’

2018 was a busy year for us and we made some pretty impressive developments and strides in securing the potential future of the building, maybe even as a theatre once again.

Firstly, we'd like to thank you for your continued suppport and, if you are new to reading about the stunning Salford Victoria Theatre, express our thanks for your interest.

If you aren't already aware, last year the building was put up for auction and we fought to raise the awareness of its Grade II listing to potential new owners and investors and managed to attend a walk-through viewing prior and also have a presence on the day to keep our ears to the ground, sound out those interested and make ourselves and our campaign known. The first time it went under the hammer it failed to sell but the second time (September), it was sold and, with the help of the auctioneers, we were contacted by the new owner and given the opportunity to meet and discuss our plan for the way forward. This was a huge development considering it had been bought as an investment and it wasn not known what their pan was for the future of this - once bustling and shining - emporium of memories.

Subsequent to that meeting, where we presented a business plan for the restoration, inclusive of options for using the theatre pre- works, we were given the chance to prepare a viability study with an initial period of 6 months. This is where the hard work began (as well as ensuring the building remains in its current condition and doesn't worsen) and we have worked to stablise our intentions and safeguard the vision of restoring the Victoria back to its former glory (or close). Our group remains voluntary and we have been able to expand and build a good team of people with the skills to move this project forward.

More recently, we have had some great news which has been possible though our contacts at the Theatres Trust, where the theatre is fourth on their 'At Risk' register for the UK. Our application for funding for the viability report was successful and we are one of six theatres to receive funding through the first round of the Theatres At Risk Capacity Building Programme, run by the national advisory body for theatres. The grant of more than £21,000 has been awarded to Salford Victoria to carry out a study to determine the best use for the building. Others are Burnley Empire, Morecambe Winter Gardens, Peterborough New Theatre, Spilsby Theatre and Swindon Mechanics Institute.

Our chair, Sam Kelly, said “We are extremely grateful. We are making significant progress and have to thank the Theatres Trust for their valuable and continued support. Here’s to a productive few months of hard work, passion and fun! We would also like to thank Mohammed Patel, the owner of The Victoria, for allowing us this opportunity.”

Musician, actor and Theatres Trust Trustee Gary Kemp says “We know how difficult it can be for theatres to raise funding for the early stage concept and viability works and for organisational support. These first stages of a project provide the vital foundations for both project and organisation, and we hope that with this support, these theatres will be able to make real progress.”

The 'Theatres At Risk Capacity Building Programme' is supported by Historic England, The Pilgrim Trust, Swire Charitable Trust and anonymous donors.

Martha Allfrey Trustee of the Swire Charitable Trust says “The Swire Charitable Trust is delighted to be supporting the Theatres Trust’s Theatres at Risk Capacity Building Programme. We applaud its goal of removing vulnerable theatres from the Theatres at Risk Register, thus securing the future of these vital cultural, community and heritage assets. Theatres Trust’s unique and intense work with these theatres can lend support in so many ways, offering exciting opportunities to the community and campaign groups involved – we will follow the progress of each project with great interest”

Georgina Nayler of the Pilgrim Trust says: “The Pilgrim Trust recognises the importance of supporting theatres at risk to save their buildings and give them a viable and sustainable future. This is not just because so many of the buildings are of outstanding significance, but also because a restored, vibrant and well visited theatre building can assist with the regeneration of the centres of our towns and cities. We are delighted to be funding this programme”.

We are still always looking for more members to join our cause, whether an enthusiast or someone willing to really help us achieve our goals through funding, promotion, management of online facilities and general admin and community liaison. Please get in touch if you are interested in joining us.