The Theatre Royal Onward Trust

Mission Statement
Aims and objectives
The Theatre Royal Onward Board of Trustees
The Theatre Royal Onward Board of Management
The story so far
Theatre Royal Onward patrons

Mission Statement

Protecting Your Theatre For Everyone

Our goal is to preserve, restore and re-open Hyde Theatre Royal.


• Keeping a careful eye on this Grade II listed Edwardian building
• Seeking support of like minded individuals and groups, looking for
   areas of mutual interest and benefit
• Promoting the theatre for Hyde and Tameside locally and nationally

With a view to:

• Opening the building for it’s heritage and architectural importance
• Using the building as a community hub promoting community cohesion
• Operating the building as a public/private multi-use venue, creating    social and economic capital, regenerating Hyde Town Centre

Theatre Royal Onward aims and objectives

• The preservation and restoration, for the public benefit, of the Theatre    Royal, Corporation Street, Hyde, Cheshire. The Theatre being a    building of particular historical and architectural interest.

• To advance the education of the public in performing arts in particular    through the acquisition, repair, maintenance and management of the    Theatre Royal and continuing its use as a public venue for    performances, cinema and community activities.

• To advance the education of young people in the crafts associated with    the performing arts through the provision of, but not exclusively,    theatre workshops.

The Theatre Royal Onward Board of Trustees

We are very lucky to have a full spectrum of skills on our Board of Trustees.

Mr John Gray (Chairman)
John worked in professional theatre for the majority of his working life including working with the D'Oyle Cart Operas Company and English National Opera North and also stage managed 19 professional pantomimes.

Mrs Muriel Nichols (Secretary)
Muriel is retired, but is busy in the voluntary sector. Studied Interpersonal Skills for the Voluntary Sector with the University of Wales. Also organizes the Onward Writing Competition for funding and publicity.

Mrs Brenda Starkey (Treasurer)
Brenda has worked in the teaching profession and has dealt with children for many years. Also been involved in theatre working both back stage and in front of house.

Mrs Sue Goodwin

Sue was a founder member of TRO and is involved with amateur theatre and is a lead member of Stockport Methodist Chapel.

Mr Bob Howorth
Bob runs his own successful business and has for many years been involved in professional and amateur theatre.

Ms Christine Hamer
Christine was a lecturer in the nursing profession and is involved in amateur theatre and has been greatly involved in the fundraising for the project.

Mrs Linda Mercer
Linda has been involved in local charities within Tameside for many years and is employed by Tameside Social Services. She has a love of theatre and is passionate about saving the Theatre Royal.

Mr Graeme Green
Graeme worked as a Quality Control Engineer at British Aerospace for 21 years. Co-founder of Sailors Beware Laurel and Hardy Tent in Hyde and member of the Living Room Theatre Company. Interest in local history, canal boats and waterways.

The Theatre Royal Onward Board of Management

John Gray
Muriel Nichols
Brenda Starkey
Tom Brown
Sue Goodwin
Bob Howorth
Christine Hamer
Linda Mercer
Stuart Green
Graeme Green
Geraldine Buckley

Pat Jackson

The story so far

In April 2000 a group of Hyde residents achieved success when the Theatre Royal was awarded listed building status, following the threat of demolition to make way for a housing development. The group who named themselves "Theatre Royal Onward" succeeded in gaining listed status on their first attempt, and hence saved the building from the bulldozers.

Following this success a public meeting was held in February 2001 resulting in a decision to form a Building Preservation Trust. The aim of this trust is to raise funds for the survey, purchase, restoration re-opening and eventual running of the theatre for the benefit and enjoyment of the community.

At a further meeting in April 2001 a committee was elected and Trustees appointed. The name "Theatre Royal Onward" was chosen due to "Onward" being prominent in the town logo and motto. In May 2001, Theatre Royal Onward was registered as a company limited by guarantee (Company No: 4223449).

In April of 2002 the Theatre Royal Onward gained registered charity status No: 1091964, and had raised enough funds and secured a grant from the Architectural Heritage Fund to allow Lloyd Evans Prichard of Manchester, whose restoration work has included John Rylands Library, to commence the buildings survey. At the same time a technical survey was arranged by the Theatres Trust.

Since then, members have been in touch with potential funders and hope that a presentation to the business community, to show the potential of the theatre, might help overcome the initial hurdle of purchase or lease of the building. Two backers had indicated they would invest but unfortunately discussions with the owner, for possible purchase, were unsuccessful. When ready we can apply to the Architectural Heritage Fund and certainly be hopeful, as AHF have now helped fund two feasibility studies with grants to the sum of 10,000 showing a
confidence and a belief in success. This is an area where plans for
multi-use are essential. It is hoped that more backers will come forward to help either financially with the purchase of the building and a lease back arrangement with TRO and/or the further assistance which will be required with insurance and such other day-to-day expenses.

We conducted a Market Research Survey where we asked people what they would like the theatre used for, what they would like to see and prices they would pay for events. TRO are members of the Market Research Society which means the survey was carried out correctly and is a genuine reflection of people's views. Respondents from all walks of life were approached, all ages, varieties of occupations etc. Volunteers worked with enthusiasm especially when going door-to-door for support. The results proved overwhelmingly that people want the theatre to be saved and re-opened.

There is still a long way to go until the Theatre Royal, Hyde, is back to its former glory, but with your support it can be achieved.

Done this before? Have you saved a theatre? Maybe you could advise us on best fundraising, increasing membership, updating a constitution ... all support gratefully received.

Theatre Royal Onward patrons

Theatre Royal Onward is delighted to have as it's patrons the following public figures:

Les Dennis
Well known entertainer and actor. His many TV appearances include hosting Family Fortunes, Casualty, Midsomer Murders and most recently Coronation Street. Lead roles on stage include Hairspray, Chicago and Me and My Girl on tour and in the West End. Generous supporter of UK cancer charities.

Lord Pendry of Stalybridge
Lord Pendry was MP for Hyde & Stalybridge for over thirty years, always showing a great interest in and working for the community. He was elevated to the peerage for his services and took his seat in the House of Lords in 2001.

Meg Johnson
A well known and highly respected actress, Meg has appeared on the stage of the Theatre Royal many times and is possibly best remembered for the lead role of Maria in the Sound of Music. Since turning professional Meg has become a celebrated star of stage and screen, including roles in the West End


Theatre Royal Hyde