National Theatre Foundation Seat Sponsorship Drive
The Gibraltar National Theatre Foundation (GNTF), an independent foundation which was set up to raise funds for the construction of the 1000-seat National Theatre and associated cultural hub at the John Mackintosh Hall, has launched a new fund-raising drive, following on from Gibraltar Drama Festival week. Substantial funds have already been raised, full details of which will shortly be released by the Foundation, and it is hoped to commence construction, which is expected to take around 18 months, later this year. The intention is to hold the opening performance no later than spring 2025.
There is however still a shortfall of funds to make this a reality, and so fundraising initiatives will now be stepped up.
The project aims to deliver much more than a Theatre. It is not just about a 1000 seater auditorium. It will of course include the major “West End style” theatre, suitable for drama, dance and music, including full orchestras, but also a studio theatre with retractable seating for over 200, a new and enlarged lending library with the latest facilities, new exhibition spaces (sponsored by the Parasol Foundation to the tune of £1.5 million) and a new up-market catering facility. The facility will be constructed with live transmission and e-sports in mind and will be perfect as a conference centre and suit many opportunities, not just theatre and drama.
The Foundation is seeking support from philanthropists, companies and businesses, cultural entities, and trusts, from Gibraltar and abroad.
Already considerable funds have been raised thanks to the altruistic support of the Parasol Foundation, the Kishin Alwani Foundation, another major sponsor soon to be announced, and through other private donors and the support of Cultural Organisations, especially the Musicians Association of Gibraltar. Gibraltar Cultural Services are supporting the GNTF, whose patron is His Excellency the Governor Sir David Steel KBE, in raising the funds necessary to make this project a reality.
The Foundation today launches its ‘Buy a Seat’ plan. The scheme allows for individuals or entities to purchase a theatre seat and in turn the seat will have a plaque on its back naming the benefactor. The cost of sponsorship for each theatre seat is set at £5,000. For donation of £300,000 or more, the sponsor’s name will be visibly listed on a commemorative board which will be displayed prominently on Gibraltar National Theatre premises.
This concept has proved very popular with sponsors in similar projects elsewhere. These include the Royal Albert Hall in London, the Opera House in La Monnaie de Munt, Brussels and the National Theatre in Timisoara, Romania.
A spokesman for the Foundation said, “We are so grateful to big investors, but by this seat initiative we hope to involve as many individual members of the community and businesses as possible – it is after all a community project for the community.” The Foundation stresses that if every seat is sold, that will raise £5M from the individuals and businesses, equivalent to the cost of fitting out the auditoria to the highest modern standards.
GCS CEO Seamus Byrne said, ‘The GNTF is working hard on obtaining support from its principal sponsors. By launching this additional fundraising initiative, we hope to attract Gibraltar residents, and companies which may want to support this community project further. I am very confident that the community’s efforts and support will provide Gibraltar with the state-of-the-art cultural complex it rightly deserves.’
The Patron, His Excellency Vice Admiral Sir David Steel said: “Thanks to some already very generous benefactors, the National Theatre of Gibraltar is becoming a reality. If individuals and groups in our community, as well as businesses, feel able to support this endeavour through this opportunity to sponsor one or more seats they, collectively and individually, will help to deliver a new facility that will serve the community for many decades to come. John Mackintosh himself would have wished for no better initiative for 21st Century Gibraltar”.
A bank account for the Foundation is now open and anyone wishing to donate to the GNTF or support the Buy a Seat plan can do so by contacting GCS Accounts Department on telephone 20075669 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org