Trust merger 'will secure Vic's future'
BRISTOL Old Vic has merged with the Theatre Royal Bristol Trust.
The merger brings the theatre buildings into the same charitable trust as the theatre company and creates a unified body to oversee the £19.3 million redevelopment of the Old Vic which will start in February.
Previously, BOV had occupied the historic King Street theatre on lease from the Theatre Royal Bristol Trust but it will now own the freehold.
The newly-merged charity will be chaired by Laura Marshall, an existing BOV board member and managing director of Bristol-based Icon Films.
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Current chairman Dick Penny is stepping down but will continue as managing director of the Watershed.
The redevelopment of the building will start with the renovation of the Georgian auditorium, improvements to rehearsal, office and backstage areas and the refurbishment of the Paintshop as a new performance space. Further work will follow in the front-of-house areas, including the Coopers' Hall.
Ms Marshall said: "I am deeply honoured to have been elected chairman. It's an extraordinarily exciting time to be part of Bristol Old Vic as it moves into this transformative period.
"The renewal of Bristol Old Vic manifestly celebrates our unique history."
Mr Penny, outgoing chairman of Bristol Old Vic said: "The merger unifies the two trusts that were set up in the 1940s, giving Bristol Old Vic a permanent home, and creates a much stronger theatre organisation for the future."