Major renovation work for Polka Theatre

A children’s theatre has started building work on a major £7.5 million redevelopment that will transform the venue in Wimbledon.

Polka Theatre has temporarily closed for the project with a planned re-opening due in the summer next year, and will continue with performances at other venues including Morden Hall Park during the 18 months of closure.

In December the venue received £1.2 million towards the FUTURE POLKA project from the Mayor of London’s Good Growth Fund.

In February, Wimbledon-based fintech consultancy firm Icon Solutions donated £100,000 towards the regeneration of the building.

The theatre is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, and the redevelopment will be the first one since it opened its doors in 1979.

The project will include a new Adventure Theatre specially designed for young children up to the age of five, a rehearsal studio, multi-sensory garden, improved accessibility and café.

More than 90,000 children up to the age of 12 visit the popular theatre every year, which is based at the heart of Wimbledon on The Broadway.

Theatre enthusiasts can donate towards the fund or pick a particular piece of the building to buy ranging from lights, microphones and speakers to café chairs, coffee mugs and aromatic plants for the sensory garden.

Artistic director Peter Glanville said: “Polka is much more than a leading children’s theatre, it is a complete experience designed with children in mind.

“We have an amazing, chance-of-a-lifetime opportunity to redevelop Polka as a unique place of inspiration for children, artists and our community.”

Polka Theatre still needs to raise the last £1 million of the project, and members of the public can donate at www.polkatheatre.com/futurepolka.

To learn more about the theatre’s 40th birthday celebrations at Morden Hall Park in July head to www.nationaltrust.org.uk/morden-hall-park/features/polka-theatre-at-morden-hall-park.

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