Our Costume Workshop restoration and redevelopment received a major boost to its fundraising campaign with a £1 million award from the Government’s Local Growth Fund.

This brings us a step closer to creating a new 21st century Costume Workshop that everyone can visit for the first time.

We started a two-year building project to restore and redevelop the buildings in May 2018. This funding is a big step towards completing the Stitch in Time campaign, and we are now within sight of the target with £250,000 left to raise.

As well as giving our team of skilled costume makers new and restored workshops, the project will enable visitors to experience the heritage of our world-class Costume Workshop for themselves through tours, digital experiences and education, participation and outreach opportunities.

Stitch In Time will give our skilled costume makers 21st century workshops

Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) chose four projects which will have a significant impact in the area ahead of Coventry being UK City of Culture in 2021 and the Commonwealth Games coming to Birmingham in 2022.

The money comes from a combination of the Government’s Local Growth Fund and Growing Places Fund. The other projects benefitting from the funding are:

  • Completing the Culture Capital for key venues and production spaces in Coventry
  • Shakespeare’s Henley Street to create a world-class setting at Shakespeare's birthplace
  • Coventry City of Culture Tourism & Leisure Quarter - part of a wider programme to improve strategic locations in Coventry city centre

Our Executive Director Catherine Mallyon said: “The restoration and redevelopment of our Costume Workshop will add another element to the region’s wealth of cultural and tourist assets. 

“Costume-making is central to everything we do at the RSC and is shared with audiences all year round on our stage, and through live broadcasts straight into cinemas and schools. Wherever we perform we fly the flag for Stratford-upon-Avon and the region. We are enormously grateful to CWLEP for this funding.”

RSC Honorary Associate Artist and Costume Workshop supporter Sir Patrick Stewart added: “The RSC is such a special company to actors and audiences around the world. The costumes they create are brilliant with incredible attention to detail, and the team fully understand what it is like for an actor to wear a costume night after night, for over 100 performances.

"The costumes help to shape an actor's performance, and that journey always begins in the Costume Workshop. The craftspeople there give you a greater sense of your character as they bring the wonderful costumes to life using craftmanship that is consistently world-class. All of this happens day-after-day despite the working facilities which are bursting at the seams and no longer fit for purpose."