February 10, 2020 The Edge

Press Release: Manchester theatre The Edge awarded Viridor Credits funding for much needed new heating system

  • The Edge has been awarded £16,497 to update its boiler system and install secondary glazing in its café The Dressing Room.
  • The Edge is Manchester’s Theatre for Participation, working with vulnerable adults and young people to deliver life changing participatory projects.
  • The 80 seat theatre programmes small scale professional adult and family friendly theatre from around the UK
  • The Edge is also home to the Observer Food Monthly Award winning Dressing Room which provides training to adults with learning disabilities.
The Edge’s patron Julie Hesmondhalgh with members of Expressive Edge theatre company for adults with learning disabilities.

Manchester’s The Edge theatre is celebrating after receiving over £16,000 from Viridor Credits Environmental Company to upgrade its heating system.  

Based in a 19th Century former Red Cross Hospital in Chorlton, South Manchester, The Edge is a unique space to take part in great theatre and see high-quality, small-scale, theatre, comedy and music from around the country. It was launched in 2011 with award winning actors Julie Hesmondhalgh and Sir Mark Rylance as its patrons.

The unique arts space based in Chorlton runs a full participatory programme and each week over 650 people take part in an arts activity at The Edge from early year music classes to a community choir and dance classes for adults.

They also run a full programme of high quality arts for vulnerable adults and young people including two theatre companies and a dance company for adults with learning disabilities, a theatre programme for young people with learning disabilities and The Observer Award Winning Dressing Room Training programme,which provides training in hospitality to adults with learning disabilities.

A parent of one of the actors from Expressive Edge, the theatre company for adults with learning disabilities, said

“My daughter, has been part of The Edge’s community for 6 years. She has Down’s Syndrome with autism and a number of health issues which mean that she is particularly susceptible to illness. The Edge provides a fantastic venue for her and many of her friends with both learning and physical disabilities to fully participate in a number of classes and training opportunities not provided anywhere else. It is a vital resource that offers them socialisation, exercise, education and fun!! – but it is a very old building and can be extremely cold. The people at The Edge already offer a warm, inclusive & supportive atmosphere and it is wonderful that this beautiful, old building can now do the same!!”

Work has already started on the project, with the boiler installed and the secondary glazing due to be fitted in the coming weeks. Janine Waters, CEO & Artistic Director of The Edge, said

“Participation is at the heart of everything we do at The Edge, from opportunities taking part in our participation programme right through to our award-winning hospitality programme.  We’re immensely proud the work that The Edge and The Dressing Room does and we are extremely grateful to Viridor Credits for helping us to make this work as accessible as possible.”

The Edge is Manchester’s award-winning theatre for participation. Founded in 2011 by Janine Waters, Dom and Simon Waters, it provides opportunities for people who are homeless, vulnerable adults and young people to take part in theatre – transforming lives through high quality theatre and art. Running alongside its extensive participation programme, The Edge is both a producing and a receiving house for nationally touring theatre productions. The Dressing Room café opened in 2015 and is considered a hidden gem in Chorlton for its tea and cake, lunch and pre-show meals, in addition to delivering its award-winning training programme in hospitality for adults with learning disabilities.