Malvern Theatres could be about to receive £1 million of funding from Malvern Hills District Council to extend its educational and community space.

The extension project, which will cost up to £2.25 million, and £1 million of this is from the council if recommended by the Executive Committee on 22 March 2022.

The remaining cost will be funded jointly by the council's existing capital programme, and donations and fundraising already secured by Malvern Theatres Trust.

As well as providing a welcoming and vibrant new main entrance the new extension will enable the theatre to increase its number of workshop places from around 2,500 to 14,500 per year, including more classes such as music, drama, movement, dance, art and more.

Disabled access to the theatre from the Grange Road entrance will also be greatly improved with a new 'Changing Places' toilet facility, making the whole theatre complex accessible for people with severe disabilities for the first time.

It will also enable the theatre to extend its work with Acorns children's hospice and other specialist care providers in the area.

Nic Lloyd, chief executive at Malvern Theatres, said: "I'm delighted that Malvern Hills District Council is so generously investing in this important project, which promises to be of huge benefit to the area.

"The new studio space will allow Malvern Theatres to improve and expand its Education and Creative Learning programme, providing life-changing participation opportunities for people of all ages and abilities in our community."

The theatre was granted planning permission in 2019 for a 310 square metre extension, which was delayed due to the pandemic.

Cllr Peter Whatley, portfolio holder for resources at Malvern Hills District Council, said: "Malvern Theatres is such an integral part of our district which offers not only live performances, but cinema showings and educational programmes enjoyed by so many.

"Our proposed investment of £1 million will make a significant difference to the popular venue and will allow the theatre to continue with its wonderful community work."

The popular venue, which attracts around 300,000 visitors each year, is the second most visited attraction in the Malvern Hills District according to the council.