Islington’s King’s Head Theatre awarded £800k by Sadiq Khan to help with move to new space

The Kings Head Theatre is leaving the King's Head pub in Upper Street. Picture: Ewan Munro/Flickr/CC

The Kings Head Theatre is leaving the King's Head pub in Upper Street. Picture: Ewan Munro/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0 - Credit: Archant

Islington’s iconic King’s Head Theatre has been awarded £800,000 by Sadiq Khan to help with its move to a state-of-the art space in Upper Street’s Islington Square development.

The King's Head opened in 1970, becoming the first theatre pub in London since Shakespeare's time, and helped to put Upper Street on the map.

It launched the careers of Alan Rickman, Joanna Lumley and Hugh Grant, and is also one of London's longest running LGBTQ+ venues.

It has now outgrown its 110-seat capacity and is being moved into two underground floors of Islington Square, not far from its existing home.

But it needed cash to help pay for the move and kitting out of the new space, which will include a purpose-built theatre, auditorium, studio theatre, a cafe and bar and a creative hub with a dedicated training programme.It will also help mentor the next generation of small creative businesses.

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Artistic director Adam Spreadbury-Maher said: This is such amazing and transformative news! Well done Fiona [English, executive director] and thank you Amy Lame, Richard Watts, Islington Council, Sadiq Khan and everyone else who has supported us to this stage.'

Mr Khan, said: 'London's local communities are sources of tremendous innovation and creativity.

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'We're supporting thousands of businesses and helping more Londoners make a difference to their local areas across the city.

'London's growth places significant pressures on our high streets and open spaces - the funding I'm announcing today will help create healthier and more inclusive places to work, live and visit.'

The Good Growth Fund is the mayor's biggest regeneration fund and has provided more than £75million of capital funding since 2017, as well as expert regeneration advice, design support and knowledge sharing.

Islington Council was also given almost £1.5m to help electrify its fleet of bin lorries by installing up to 150 smart chargers at its waste and recycling centre.

Another £1m has gone to The Lilisleaf Trust to redevelop the old Penton Street London HQ of the African National Congress (ANC) and create the first space highlighting the UK's role in the international Anti-Apartheid Movement (AAM).

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