Action call over Doncaster’s Grand Theatre

Margaret Herbert  of Edenthorpe, Doncaster seen with historic post from Grand Theatre
Margaret Herbert of Edenthorpe, Doncaster seen with historic post from Grand Theatre

Doncaster’s crumbling Grand Theatre has been named as one of the most at risk venues in Britain.

The theatre, adjoining the Frenchgate Centre and which has been closed and decaying for more than two decades, is one of 36 venues nationwide on the Theatres Trust at risk register - which has warned that the building and others like it need to be saved.

Trustee and television comic Dara O’Briain is now calling on everyone who cares about the theatre and others on the list to join the campaign to protect them.

Mr O’Briain has lent his support to raise awareness of the campaign by fronting a video introducing some of the excellent work done by community groups around the country, including Doncaster’s Friends of the Grand Theatre group.

He said: “As a touring standup comedian I have travelled up and down this country and worked in many of the theatres here and you have a unique and rich heritage of theatres that were built in the last 200 years.

“But we can’t take that for granted. Local community support is vital in breathing new life into theatres.

“If a theatre in your community was in danger of being lost forever would you help fight for it? There are 36 theatres all over the country on our register at the moment. Please join the campaign to save them or make a donation.”

The Grand, a Grade II listed building was ranked 23rd on the list.

The Grand, originally built in 1899, has now stood empty and derelict since its closure in 1995 and is sandwiched on prime land between the transport interchange, the Frenchgate Centre and Sainsbury’s supermarket.

The Chairman of the Grand Theatre Trust, Margaret Herbert said: “We met with the Theatres Trust and the council recently, and discussed this. I hope the publicity will make the owners think and realise what footfall it could bring to the Frenchgate Centre.”

The Grand was used as a theatre until 1958. It was a bingo hall when it closed.