12 August 2022

This further builds on the University’s successful relationship with the Foundation, dating back to 2012 when the Foundation was a major donor to the University’s Regent Street Cinema restoration project.

This will future-proof the space for the next generation of University talent and established local creative talent alike, focusing on elevating the voices of the underrepresented.

The restored Soho Poly will create a vibrant community hub for inclusivity and wellbeing within the Regent Street and wider London area. It will offer community engagement and diverse programming to our partners and local schools and provide a contemporary performance and education venue for the London arts community.

Jules Attanayake, Development Officer for Trusts and Foundations at the University of Westminster, said: “We are truly grateful to the Garfield Weston Foundation for their generous donation. Not only does this validate the long-term relationship we have with the Foundation, but we also strongly felt they would understand the special unspoilt quality of our original and iconic leading London Fringe theatre, and see the potential for it to be restored to life.”

Sophia Weston, Trustee of the Garfield Weston Foundation, said: “The Trustees are delighted to make a grant of £40,000 to your organisation. This grant is sent with the best wishes of the Weston family, and we look forward to staying in touch and send our best wishes for your work.”

Next, the University plans to continue the momentum of the project and seek support for its Phase 2. This will see the renovation of the floor above the iconic site, turning it into an exhibition and multifunctional space for visual artists, teaching, creative partners and the local community to showcase their work and hire the venue for use. In addition to the theatre space, this will establish a truly holistic creative hub for the University to be proud of.

To find out more about our plans and how you can support the project further, please visit the Soho Poly webpage or email queries to [email protected].