Welcome! ... to the Friends website - our resource of news and information about the 'almost lost' theatre at Alexandra Palace. and about its Friends. Please look back from time to time to keep up with news. Even better, and simpler, sign up for our newsletter, and we'll keep you updated on the current state of the theatre, what's happening now, the place of the theatre in the wider plans for the regeneration of Alexandra Palace, and especially, what the Friends are doing. If you have any questions, or think we're missing something you'd like to see here or that you think we should consider doing, don't hesitate to get in touch, or even better, help us to add or do it!
Membership of the Friends is currently a nominal £2, and will mean you're kept more closely 'in the loop' than the general public. We'd love you to join us!
You can also keep up with 'APTheatre' on...
Friends of the Theatre delighted at Lottery success - press release
The Friends of the Alexandra Palace Theatre are delighted at the news that the Alexandra Palace Trust has won the backing of the Heritage Lottery Fund for its £23.9m regeneration programme for the Theatre, former BBC television studios and East Court. The HLF has granted the Trust £844,800 in Round 1 funding to further develop plans for its £16.8m lottery funding application.
Nigel Willmott, the chair of the Friends of the Theatre, said: "The Friends have been working and campaigning for the refurbishment and reuse of the Victorian Theatre for the past 11 years, since the formation of the group. For most of that time it seemed an impossible dream. Suddenly it is on the way to becoming a reality.
"It is a stunning result for chief executive Duncan Wilson and his team at the Palace, the board of trustees, and for Haringey council, which has fully supported a new strategy of redevelopment of the Palace led by the Trust, rather than a developer.
"We have been one of the many groups whose input has gone into the creation of the regeneration programme and we look forward to continuing to support the next phase of the work, to further develop the design of the project and produce a detailed business plan.
"The refurbishment of the Theatre, keeping its historic look and feel, but creating a multi-use space for music, drama, conference and community use has the potential to make it one of the most exciting and inspiring venues in London."
The Friends group has been building membership over the past year in anticipation of a positive outcome to the Lottery bid and we aim to continue to sign up new members and increase activities in support of the regeneration project.
Duncan Wilson will attend the group's AGM at Alexandra Palace on May 29, and report on the next phase of the project and how the Friends can help.
Over the past decade the Friends group has held a number of events to showcase the Theatre, including a silent film show, concerts in the auditorium and foyer, a short opera season by Tete a Tete, a reading of the Victorian melodrama Lady Audley's Secret and several Open House days. The Theatre has also been used for location shoots, including a large Sony Music ad campaign and the BBC drama Margot Fonteyn.
- Ends -
Friends of the Alexandra Palace Theatre
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
WEDNESDAY 29 MAY 2013 at 7.30pm
Dear Friend of the Theatre
Please make a note in your diary of the AGM of the Friends.
This will be an important meeting on the future of the theatre in the light of the success or failure of the Heritage Lottery bid, which we will know about within the next couple of weeks.
Duncan Wilson, the chief executive of Alexandra Palace, will be at the meeting to outline future plans in light of the lottery decision.
We will also be electing a new committee for this next phase, and are keen to involve new committee members in the tasks that lie ahead. Please do consider becoming more active in the organisation. Feel free to email me at chair [at] fapt.org.uk if you would like to have a chat about what this might entail.
The full agenda and papers will be sent out nearer the meeting date.
Our current newsletter is here: Newsletter February 2013.
(opens in new window - close to return here)
Come to a talk about the theatre...
Alexandra Palace Theatre - a History
by Marlene McAndrew
at the Haringey Local History Fair at Bruce Castle Museum.
The Local History Fair is an annual event, and is being held on Saturday 23 February, 11 am to 5 pm.
There's a full day of history talks, displays and local group's stalls. Marlene's talk is at 2 pm, just after the lunch break.
Friends of AP Theatre hope to have a stall.
Do come to hear Marlene, and do visit us at our stall. Entry is free. The museum cafe will be open all day.
The Bruce Castle Museum website is at: http://www.haringey.gov.uk/brucecastlemuseum
At the end of November, the Alexandra Palace Charitable Trust will be submitting a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a total of £18 million to fund the complex repairs, refurbishment, and fitting out of the Theatre and the historic TV Studios (world's first regular broadcasts) and their opening to the public for multiple uses. Together, the recovery of these lost facilities will help catalyse the transformation of the whole of Alexandra Palace. The letter supporting the bid from the Chair on behalf of the Friends of the Alexandra Palace Theatre is below.
Friends of the Alexandra Palace Theatre
CEO, Alexandra Palace
Update on AP redevelopment consultation
Alexandra Palace's consultation (see also below) is now closed, but thank you to everyone who responded.
There were over 2000 responses. The theatre gained an incredible level of support, not just from Friends of the Theatre, but from the wider public. Over 1200 people said the theatre was the part of the Palace they most wanted to see open and working again. This is a fantastic result for the Friends, and will be an important factor in the bid for funding to be submitted by AP later this year to the Heritage Lottery Fund. We'll be reporting more on all of this in future newsletters.
[16 Sept 2012]
From the Chair - Alexandra Palace redevelopment consultation
These are exciting times for Alexandra Palace and its Victorian theatre. For the first time in the 10 years since Friends of the Alexandra Palace Theatre was set up, there is a real chance of sympathetic development of the Palace and Park. A regeneration project to revive the fortunes of Alexandra Palace is now well under way, led by the Alexandra Palace Charitable Trust and fully backed by Haringey Council, the trustee of the charity.
Considerable work has been already done to set out the framework for regeneration. There will be three main areas for development. First, to shore up and expand the commercial activity of the Palace, based on the western end and the Great and West halls, improving the facilities for concerts and music, which is becoming the anchor activity.
Second, to develop a hotel and restaurant complex on the site now occupied by the temporary Panorama Room - as was originally envisaged when the Palace was rebuilt after the 1980 fire.
And third, to bring back in use the derelict areas at the east of the building, the Theatre and former BBC studios block and the basements. This will be both for commercial uses, but also they will be the main focus for community and educational uses of the Palace. These will be very important in accessing grants and lottery funds for part of the necessary investment.
Here is where you as a supporter of Friends of the Theatre come in. Alexandra Palace is currently conducting an extensive consultation of its outline plans, to gauge people's support and invite their comments. The size of the response and level of support will greatly strengthen their ability to advance the case for regeneration.
And more particularly, a show of enthusiastic support for refurbishing and bringing back into use the theatre will immeasurably improve prospects for an outline bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for the theatre in November. Ideas and comments will be gratefully received.
So PLEASE FILL IN THE CONSULTATION FORM and and encourage others to do so if you can. The forms are available online here (or link in full: http://www.alexandrapalace.com/about-us/regeneration/). Paper forms are also available at the Palace, along with displays and further information on the regeneration project, and forms at local libraries and community spaces.
This is a once in a generation chance. Help make sure it is not missed.
Chair, on behalf of the Friends of the Alexandra Palace Theatre committee