Stepnell have begun the major renovation for the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), contracted to restore its Costume Workshop in Waterside, Stratford-upon-Avon
Home to the theatre’s award-winning costume-makers since the 1950s, the workshop is in urgent need of repair.
The transformed workshops will feature extended workspace for the costume team; an improved stock room; larger premises for the millinery, jewellery and dyeing and print workshops; new office space; a larger fitting room; a new lift and a new plantroom in the roofspace. The project will also create a versatile new space within the workshop area.
The renovation will create 1,644 sq m of modern workshop accommodation, mainly over two storeys, to create enhanced facilities for what is the largest in-house costume-making department of any British theatre with an extensive range of facilities.
Designed by architects practice Aedas, renovation will also create a new entrance to the RSC offices and Costume Workshop using the 1887 former scene dock doors which were built for the original Shakespeare Memorial Theatre.
Stephen Rebbeck, RSC technical director, commented: “Our costumes are essential for us to create theatre at its best, made in Shakespeare’s hometown of Stratford-upon-Avon and shared around the world – so we are looking forward to working with Stepnell on the restoration and redevelopment of our Costume Workshop.
“The project will help us create the best facilities for costume-making fit for the 21st century, as well as offer new training and apprenticeship opportunities and allow visitors to experience our world-class costume workshop for themselves.”
Stepnell operations manager, Paul Fish, added: “We are extremely proud to be working on this landmark project for the RSC, helping create modern facilities for the theatre’s dedicated and highly skilled costume makers.”
Funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, the Heritage Lottery Fund, and The Government’s Local Growth Fund through the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, with additional support from the Garfield Weston Foundation and other generous supporters.