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SOYO and West Yorkshire Playhouse announce five year sponsorship that will see a pop-up theatre created during the Playhouse’s £14m redevelopment. This unique collaboration underlines the commitment to keeping Leeds’ cultural destination alive during construction works. SOYO, the £300m redevelopment within Leeds’ cultural quarter, Quarry Hill, has pledged a long-term commitment to supporting West Yorkshire Playhouse, alongside Moda which will delver hundreds of new homes for rent at SOYO; they will both join Irwin Mitchell as Principal Capital Partners.

The five year partnership will include financial support for West Yorkshire Playhouse, which is due to start its redevelopment in June 2018, as well as to support the Playhouse to continue to present great productions during the construction works. The centrepiece of this collaboration is the Playhouse’s pop-up theatre, in association with SOYO, which will temporarily transform a workshop space within the Playhouse into a 350-seat theatre, presenting a full and varied programme throughout Autumn 2018 to Spring 2019. This long term partnership creates a unique opportunity to experience the Playhouse like never before, in an environment changing and growing into SOYO - the cultural quarter of Leeds.

Myles Hartley, MD at Caddick Developments, the company behind SOYO, said:

“SOYO is proud to be collaborating with its neighbours to create one of the best places in the UK to live, work, play, learn and be entertained. Since our initial discussions, West Yorkshire Playhouse has been a keen supporter of SOYO and our vision to create a unified voice for Leeds’ most culturally significant area, and we look forward to continuing to work closely with the Playhouse and especially to our association with the pop up theatre over the next few months.”

Robin Hawkes, Executive Director, West Yorkshire Playhouse, said:

“The Playhouse is delighted to work with Caddick Group and develop the vision for the SOYO neighbourhood. The Playhouse’s redevelopment will generate a new focus for the city and establish a base to attract artists and creatives from across Yorkshire and the wider North. We are proud to be partnering with a business that shares a passion for Leeds and an ambition to build the future of the cultural quarter.”

Roger Marsh OBE, Chair of Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, added:

“Leeds City Region has a strong cultural heritage which resonates internationally and is a key driver for investment. The news of this new partnership between SOYO and the West Yorkshire Playhouse is fantastic news for both the city and the region and I look forward to the opening of the Pop-Up Theatre in Autumn 2018 which will continue the Playhouse’s tradition of great programming during the redevelopment”