Manchester’s Hope Mill Theatre has announced that it will launch a Community Hub and also the Hope Mill Theatre School.

The Community Hub and small studio theatre will be based on Pollard Street next to Hope Mill Theatre and include a large studio space and more intimate studio.

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In addition the venue will also launch the Theatre School to work and train young people in the community, opening in June 2021.

The news comes as the venue also confirms performers Marcus Collins and Hayley Tamaddon as patrons of Hope Mill Theatre School.

The spaces within the Community Hub will be used for community gatherings, dance classes, rehearsals and also double as a 40-50 seat studio space at certain times of the year to host new work including the development of new musicals.  The smaller studio space will be used for auditions and singing lessons.

The Hope Mill Theatre School will launch with its first Summer term in June 2021 and two free trial weekends during the May half-term.  Initially to theatre school will launch at half capacity, operating this way until it is safe to return to full capacity.  The school will provide training for young people aged 7 to 18 as well as an early learning class for children aged 4 to 6.

Next month Hope Mill Theatre will also launch Clever Cogs, online classes for those ages 2-4 years old and their grown ups. Weekly sessions will focus on song, storytelling and movement. Sessions will be weekly in term time, initially starting on Zoom until safe to meet up in person. Tickets will be available to book via the Hope Mill Theatre website. The first session will be on 8th March 10-10.30 and will be a space adventure.

As part of the theatre school programme they will also be launching a Play Reading Club for teens aged 13-18 years. This will be an extension of their already established adult Play Reading group and will launch on Sunday 28th March and then the last Sunday of every month and will offer an opportunity for teenagers to come together to read a variety of plays and discuss themes and issues. Available on zoom.

Hope Mill Theatre have managed to secure some vital funding from The Sports & Arts Trust to be able to launch the theatre school, as well as a private donation meaning that 50% of the overall training spaces will be funded and completely free to attend.

In addition they have launched a Crowdfunding Campaign with donations of any size welcome in order to make a new home of the members of Hope Mil Theatre’s community so that they can access the arts.  Funds raised will be put towards the renovation of the Community Hub with work needing to take place before the first intake of the summer term.  It’s target of £5,000 will cover essential building and accessibility work on the space.