James Atkinson, Alexandra Palace development director, looks back at the year and forwards to what’s next at Ally Pally:
This week we have been celebrating one year since the reopening of the Alexandra Palace Theatre. The East Wing Restoration Project was of course made possible through a very large grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, one of the largest given for the restoration of an historic building. We also owe enormous thanks to Haringey Council, the residents of Haringey, and to all our supporters. We couldn’t have done it without you.
We have exceeded our audience target for the first year of operation, and the Theatre has so quickly become part of what Alexandra Palace has to offer that it is strange to think that this wonderful space was lying dormant for so long. We’ve packed so much into the last year and it just goes to show what can be done when we can reopen sections of the Palace to the public.
The project has also won a number of prestigious awards – most recently, ‘Best Heritage Project’ at the Architects’ Journal awards, which is a testament to the passion, creativity and professional excellence of all those involved.
What next for Alexandra Palace? Of course, the work never stops. About one quarter of the Palace remains derelict, including the BBC Studios and basements, and repairing and maintaining the building is a constant effort.
Alongside this, we want to make improvements to the park, and fund more activities and events for the whole community – such as the Alexandra Palace Children’s Book Awards or our regular social activities for people with dementia.
Our aim is for Alexandra Palace to offer the widest possible public benefit and ensure we pass it on in good shape for future generations to enjoy.
As a charity, every £1 we make from our events – from fireworks to concerts and everything in between – is reinvested back into Alexandra Palace. Everyone who buys a ticket for an event here is making a difference, and we are now welcoming people in record numbers, but even this is not enough to keep pace with the work required.
Making a donation to Alexandra Palace – either as a one-off gift or on a regular basis – is a great way to support the continued revitalisation of this much-loved destination.
If you were one of the thousands of people who supported the restoration project: thank you again for helping to bring Alexandra Palace Theatre back to life. Together, we achieved something amazing.
If not, there is still time to add your name, or help us make new improvements to this much-loved building. Help us make Ally Pally even better.
Alexandra Palace is a charity, run for the benefit of everyone. Our Park, Palace and spectacular events have been enriching lives since 1863, but the coronavirus pandemic has hit us hard. To be blunt, we are looking at a £1m shortfall this year and the same again next year. We know this time has been hard on many people but, if you can afford it, your support will help us get through this crisis.