Access for all at the Grand

Grand Theatre

There is something for everyone at the Grand Theatre, Blackpool and now, with new facilities for those with disabilities and a range of access performances, it has never been easier for everyone to enjoy their favourite shows. In addition to offering a fantastic line up of accessible shows, the theatre has also been working on new features, which include a low level Box Office counter and a new wheelchair platform.

Thanks to receiving a grant of £10,000 from the Big Lottery Fund, the Grand has been able to upgrade both the Audio Describing equipment and the hearing loop system throughout the auditorium to improve the experience for users of these services.

The funding has also enabled the theatre to visit several groups representing those with disabilities to find out the exact barriers that are presented by a visit to the theatre. By speaking to those affected, the theatre has been able to remove barriers to access and, in addition, to provide more training for staff.

In 2015 the Grand Theatre also received £60,000 of funding from SITA Trust, to improve access in the foyer and stalls areas of the theatre. The low level Box Office counter and platform lift allows patrons with reduced mobility access to the stalls via the Box Office and foyer.

Peter Sessions, SITA Trust manager, said,

“SITA Trust was delighted to be able to provide the funds to transform the foyer of the theatre, restoring it to its original splendour and making it ‘wheelchair friendly’. This included providing a platform lift to take those with mobility problems from the foyer to the lower stalls.”

With a range of great shows now being British Sign Language interpreted, Audio Described and Captioned, hearing impaired, deaf, blind and partially sighted patrons can now enjoy performances more than ever before.

With an exciting season ahead, some of the highlights include John Steinbeck’s Of Mice And Men, which will be Audio Described on Friday 25 March.

The RSC will be bringing A Midsummer Night’s Dream to the Grand in April with an Audio Described and Captioned performance on Friday 8 April.

Another audio described performance is Lotty’s War, the story of passion, courage and sacrifice set in WW11 enemy occupied Channel Islands, this takes place on Friday 17 June.

This year’s pantomime, Aladdin, complete with spectacular sets, dazzling costumes and side-splitting comedy will be an Audio Described/BSL Interpreted performance on Saturday 17 December.

If you would like to see any of the new facilities mentioned above, please ask the friendly and professional staff at the Box Office or Front of House.

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