Novel Method for Raising Revenue for Theatre Redevelopment

From: New Media Collective
Published: Mon Jul 25 2005

Digital Agency New Media Collective has given one of Yorkshire’s oldest institutions, Leeds Grand Theatre, and its largest arts organisation, Opera North, a brand new way of keeping audiences informed of progress in their £31.5 million pound redevelopment programme.

The agency has just launched to ensure two-way communication channels stay open whilst the Theatre is closed.

Brick, curtain rope, tile or theatre seat, you can put your name on it!

The new web site also has a novel way for visitors to donate online – they can choose to name anything from a brick to a curtain rope, or a tile to a theatre seat! This means the individual can feel as involved as a major corporate sponsor and secure his or her own part of theatre history.

Revenue Raiser for Charities

The resource is a classic example of how charities can utilise new technology to keep their audiences involved in their work, as well as creating effective new methods of raising revenue.

Visitors can also request a CD-ROM film of the Transformation project narrated by Look North’s Christa Ackroyd and featuring the late Richard Whitely - which was also created by New Media Collective. Video clips of the film are available to view on the site.

David Eccles, Managing Director of New Media Collective said,

"A lot of our work at New Media Collective is about using technology to forge relationships between our clients and their customers. In the case of Transformation, and charities in general, transparency is key if you are asking the public to donate to your cause. Working closely with Opera North, we have produced a platform that not only facilitates online donations in a novel and interesting way, but also increases transparency by providing the public with up to date details throughout the course of this massive project."

Leeds Grand Theatre

Leeds Grand Theatre is being restored to its former glory as the prime theatrical venue in the north of England and the move will also provide a permanent home for the award-winning Opera North. The project – known as Transformation - is the largest cultural project in Yorkshire and will deliver fundamental improvements to the region's cultural life. Leeds Grand Theatre is asking people to back its £31.5 million refurb by sponsoring some of the best-loved features of the 19th century landmark building.

But the two year project is still short of £3million and theatre lovers are being urged to log on to to make a donation.

Lesley Patrick, Commercial Director of Opera North commented,

"Transformation is a culturally important project for the whole region and we felt that it was crucial to keep communicating with our audiences while the Theatre is closed. New Media Collective produced a fantastic online resource that makes the best out of web technology to keep visitors up to date with developments, watch and listen to interviews, view behind the scenes footage, and even donate online".

The site will be regularly updated with news and events and visitors can choose to sign up for updates through a mailing list. Plans are also afoot to install a web cam to enable visitors to view the redevelopment live.

The web site is now live and marks the beginning of Phase One of the Transformation project which is due to last around fifteen months.

- Ends -
Editors Notes
New Media Collective
New Media Collective is a digital media specialist working for a range of agencies and clients to create rich, engaging content for the web. Clients include BBC Interactive Drama and Entertainment, BBC Worldwide, Opera North, Yorkshire Forward, Boxwood Group, sevenhr, Brahm, BANC and swamp.

Leeds Grand Theatre
The Leeds Grand Theatre and Opera House, as it was then known, was built in 1878 in a backlash to the music hall tradition which was thought by ‘polite society’ to lower the tone of entertainment via the sort of humour presented in these pub-based establishments. The first performance at the theatre was Much Ado About Nothing on 18 November 1878 and stars that have trodden the boards over the years have included Sarah Bernhardt, Ellen Terry, Julie Andrews, Felicity Kendal, Morecambe and Wise and Laurence Olivier.

It is the performance home of Opera North, Northern Ballet Theatre and the receiving theatre to many varied touring productions.

Opera North
Opera North is England's national opera company in the North, committed to producing work that entertains, informs and excites. Based at Leeds Grand Theatre it regularly tours to Nottingham, Salford, Newcastle, Sheffield, Hull, Norwich, Belfast and London

Transformation is the £31.5m project to renovate Leeds Grand Theatre and create a permanent home for Opera North –

For press information, interviews and images please contact:

Al Fox

Al Fox Communications
Tel: 01904 623318
Tel: 07946 785549
Fax: 0871 661 8087

Company: New Media Collective
Contact Name: Al Fox
Contact Email:
Contact Phone: 01904623318

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