Skip the NI Direct Bar
Skip navigation

New Lyric Theatre Taking Shape

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Arts Minister Nelson McCausland has praised the progress being made on the construction of the new Lyric Theatre, Belfast.

The Minister was speaking as he attended the theatre’s Topping Out ceremony. He said: “I welcome this opportunity to see the progress which has been made on the new theatre since my last visit in September and that the Northern Ireland Executive's contribution of over £9million to the project is producing such tangible results. The new theatre is really taking shape and I have no doubt that it will be a landmark building for both Belfast and Northern Ireland when it is completed.

“The Lyric Theatre project is a prime example of how the Northern Ireland Executive is building a better future for us all. Investment in the arts is a key contributor to physical, social and economic regeneration and, even in the current tough economic climate, it is important to recognise the contribution which arts and culture makes to our society.”

The new theatre will include a 390-seat auditorium, a flexible performance studio, rehearsal space and improved front-of-house and backstage facilities.

The Minister continued: “While the building is impressive today, the real test will occur in a few months’ time, when the lights dim and the curtain rises on opening night. Then, these walls will reverberate with drama, intrigue, excitement and laughter as the new Lyric comes alive.

“Many famous names began their careers at the Lyric Theatre, taking their first steps to global stardom. I am confident that the new theatre will provide a platform for the stars of the future.”

Concluding, the Minister said: “I look forward to attending the first performance in the new Lyric Theatre when it opens for business next year.”

The new Lyric Theatre is being built at a total cost of £18million. The main funders are DCAL, Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Belfast City Council. A successful fundraising campaign has been undertaken by the Lyric which has raised over £5million to date towards the project.

Notes to editors:

  1. Media enquiries should be addressed to the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure Press Office Tel (028) 9051 5045 or email DCAL Press Office . Out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.