The theatre received a £5m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) towards the ambitious £13.7m project to regenerate and upgrade the venue, which also included restoring the exterior of the distinctive Grade II Listed building and the beautiful Edwardian auditorium inside. In addition, seating capacity has been increased to enable larger shows to be accommodated as part of an expanded artistic programme.
Darlington Hippodrome is also managing the newly built Theatre Hullabaloo, a separate £2.9m project to create an adjacent flagship children’s theatre venue. This was made possible in part by the venue receiving a £1.5m grant from the Arts Council England (ACE) in partnership with Darlington Borough Council, who committed £800,000.
When Darlington Hippodrome’s Technical Manager, Steve Sanderson needed to equip both venues’ facilities, having previously purchased from AC-ET, he approached them to tender for the supply of various entertainment technologies.
Sales executive, Ben Steppenbeck of AC-ET’s specialist lighting division recommended a number of options that would best meet the venues’ technical requirements. In addition, the company’s separate rigging, audio and video sales divisions recommended equipment options for their product disciplines.
Steve awarded the supply contract to AC-ET, based on the overall level of service he received during the tender process, including product advice, demos and competitive pricing.
From AC-ET’s huge UK stockholding in High Wycombe and Leeds warehouses, the company supplied 273 separate pieces of equipment, consisting of 45 different types of products and accessories – with the selected brands chosen from a portfolio of over 200.
Key lighting, audio and video system components supplied included Chroma-Q Color Force II 72 colour-mixing LED cyc light battens and ETC Source Four luminaires; Allen & Heath dLive digital mixing consoles and Yamaha power amplification; plus a Panasonic PT-DW750 DLP projector and Draper UFS front projection screen.
Once installed, AC-ET also assisted with product training on the new systems.