Exciting News from Theatres Trust & Wolfson Foundation

Lyric Theatre receives vital funding to improve the theatre’s environmental sustainability


The Lyric Theatre is delighted to announce that they have been chosen as one of five theatres across the UK to receive support from the Theatres Trust and the Wolfson Foundation to become more environmentally sustainable.

The grant of £18,250 will be used to upgrade the theatre’s in-house Building Management System, giving the team at the Lyric greater control over heating, ventilation and energy use, and enabling us to achieve our energy saving targets.

The Lyric Theatre is committed to minimising the adverse environmental effects caused as a result of what we do. The theatre has undertaken a number of initiatives over the last few years in an effort to improve our green credentials; playing a leading role in the cultural response to environmental sustainability, and promoting the Lyric as a key quality cultural space in the city. This initiative plays a vital part in this ambition.

As well as a number of in-house initiatives, including the installation of LED lighting in two large spaces in the theatre, the Lyric team have also been keen to ensure that they promote and encourage conversations around sustainability. In Spring 2020, just before the pandemic hit, the Lyric’s Creative Learning team were touring a brand new Eco show to primary schools to educate young people on the climate crisis. In total, it played to an audience of 2,353 young people across Northern Ireland and was supported by environmental charity Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful and the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs.  Future ambitions at the Lyric include a zero-waste production, and setting up a costume and set library resource.

Claire Murray, Head of Development and Marketing, is also a founding member of the NI Green Arts Collective, who help advocate for sustainability within the broader Arts and Culture sector. She said:

Were living in a climate emergency. Before Covid-19 hit, this was one of the biggest challenges facing the theatre sector, and at the Lyric this remains a priority for us. Theatres, like all public buildings, have an impact on the environment, with the major energy consumption coming from heating, ventilation and lighting. As a full-time producing theatre creating up to 13 shows per year, we are also extremely conscious about the amount of sets we design, build and often discard. Over the last few years we have put a plan in place to change our practice and improve the sustainability of our building and our operations. We are so grateful to Theatres Trust and Wolfson Foundation for supporting the Lyric in this way, which will make a significant difference to our environmental impact.”

Adrian Mullan, Head of Production, added:

“This new system will help the Lyric to achieve our environmental strategic priorities by enabling building automation and also direct user control through wireless access points to monitor energy consumption and will reduce energy wastage and missed opportunities for energy savings. It is another step in the right direction for the Lyric, as we aim towards reducing and offsetting our carbon emissions through various green initiatives in the building.”

Jon Morgan, Director, Theatres Trust says:

Despite the immediate issues caused by Covid-19, it is imperative that we continue to focus on the long-term environmental sustainability of the theatre sector. Theatres Trust is delighted to be able to support the Lyric Theatre, which plays a hugely important role as Northern Irelands only full-time producing venue, with a project that will make a significant contribution to its quest to be more sustainable”.