Grand Theatre celebrates 125th anniversary – and reaches another milestone

Members of the Friends of the Grand Theatre group, as well as guests from across Doncaster, came together this week to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Grand Theatre.

The Grand Theatre – which opened in 1899 – is subject to a long-term regeneration programme which could see the theatre re-opened partially over the next few years, subject to funding.

The Theatre closed completely in 1995, with groups – including the Friends group, Theatres Trust, City of Doncaster Council and the Frenchgate Partnership owners – joining together in 2021, to save the theatre and to come up with a viability plan to get the building re-opened.

As well as the 125th anniversary, the Grand Theatre was also celebrating the completion of their oral history and digitisation project.

Thanks to funding from the Theatre’s Trust, memorabilia, artefacts and recorded interviews with those closely associated with the theatre’s history, were able to be digitally created to be viewed by a larger audience online and in exhibitions.

The 35-minute video, launched at the event, can be viewed here - Grand Theatre (

Mayor of Doncaster, Ros Jones, who spoke at the event, said: “I want to thank everyone who was involved in the creation of the oral and digitisation project. The contributions are incredibly passionate and demonstrate clearly how important this theatre is for the people of Doncaster.

“As a council, we will do everything we can to help bring this theatre back to full working order. Although the council do not own the building, we will apply for every pot funding possible, contribute where we can, support where we can, to make sure we reach the ultimate end goal of bringing this iconic building to life once again and in another 125-years, the people of Doncaster will be celebrating not just the history of the theatre, but this turning point in the history of the Grand.”

Chair of the Friends of Group, Ken Waight, said: “This was a great opportunity for all the stakeholders to get together and learn about the history of the Grand Theatre and at the same time, hear a common message about how we are now looking to the future. The project has enabled us to produce tangible displays and resources, which can be used to get the message across and gain support from even more people, across the city.”  

The Oral history and Digitisation project was made possible thanks to a £6500 grant from the Theatres Trust, supported by the National Lottery’s Heritage Fund.

The Theatres Trust is a national organisation that champions and supports theatre buildings at risk –more can be found on their work here - What We Do | About Us | Theatres Trust

To find out more about the entire project – you can read our feasibility report here - Grand Theatre - City of Doncaster Council


  • Category: Culture, leisure & tourism
Last updated: 04 April 2024 15:26:16