The West Yorkshire Playhouse is a not-for-profit, publicly funded, producing theatre company and a registered charity. The company’s key objectives are artistic and social. Its financial objectives are only to achieve sustainability or to generate profits for the development of its activities.
The Playhouse’s aims are:
To promote artistic excellence and, while vigorously making its own region a priority, sustain national standing and achieve international standing in theatre productions and arts education programmes in order to feed the cultural life of the city, the region and the country.
To serve a wide range of constituencies and communities within the region, engaging with our audiences and listening to their needs so as to actively develop their interest in and attendance at the theatre.
To offer opportunities for artists to train and develop their work so that they can continue to feed the cultural life of Britain.
To work with artists of international standing in order to extend the artistic horizons of the Playhouse.
To extend and strengthen relationships with other arts professionals and education agencies, especially in our own region, to promote and develop the work and policies of the Playhouse and stimulate artistic debate.
To work in partnership with industry, commerce and political parties in order to promote the Playhouse and increase understanding of the cultural, social and financial importance of the arts.
To engage in open debate about the role and future of the arts and public subsidy, and to ensure that cultural policy occupies a central place on the government’s agenda.
FUNDING AND FINANCING
The Playhouse is over 50% self-funding. The remaining half of its income comes from central government in the form of Yorkshire Arts, and Leeds City Council (LCC) and West Yorkshire Grants (WYG).
The Playhouse raises money from business in the form of sponsorship and from public bodies and charitable trusts in the form of fund-raising. The amount and sources of income vary from year to year and are partly dependent on general economic factors and choice of programme.
The Playhouse first opened on a site given to them by the University. After 6 years of campaigning and fundraising the Theatre Trust built a structure destined to be sold back to the University after 10 years as a Sports Hall. Within it the Trust created a theatre whose auditorium proved so successful that it was replicated 20 years later in the purpose-built building now situated on Quarry Hill.
In 1986, several funders combined to make the construction of a purpose-built theatre possible, between them providing in the region of £10 million and space on the Quarry Hill redevelopment site in the centre of Leeds. Jude Kelly was appointed as artistic director in 1989, and the new building opened in March 1990.