Save Hackney Empire

by Hackney Empire in London, England, United Kingdom


raised of £100,000 target


64% 12 days left
Flexible funding – this project will receive all pledges made by 20th August 2020 at 9:01am

Hackney Empire faces the biggest challenge in its 120 year history. Please help our legendary venue to survive this crisis.

by Hackney Empire in London, England, United Kingdom

Hackney Empire needs your help 

Hackney Empire is facing the greatest challenge of its 120-year history.

Situated at the heart of an extraordinary, diverse, yet economically challenged borough. Hackney Empire is one of the country's most iconic and best-loved venues. We are a registered charity and play a vital role in both our community and the UK's cultural landscape.Throughout the crisis our commitment to London's young people has not wavered -  providing on-line support and engagement for hundreds of young people during lockdown.

Closing the doors because of the Covid-19 pandemic has been devastating for Hackney Empire: over 85% of our funding comes from box office and earned income.

Now, as the country begins to open up, theatres remain closed and under threat. 

We are doing everything we can to secure funding to safeguard Hackney Empire’s future but we need your help to ensure Hackney Empire can re-open in safer times.

Whether you've laughed at our legendary comedy nights, danced at our gigs, been to the opera, been inspired by our young artists, or whether you come each year to experience the magic of our pantomime then please help.

Every donation really does makes a difference.

If you love Hackney Empire and what it means to its communities, then please doante. With your support Hackney Empire will re-open its doors and be there for all our audiences in the future.

"Hackney Empire is an incredibly special place for me.  It brings people and communities together like no other venue I’ve experienced and it’s atmosphere is legendary. Generations of children have had their first experience of live entertainment at its Panto and its work with young people has transformed thousands of lives.

Theatres have been hit incredibly hard by lockdown, but a world without them is unimaginable. Places like Hackney Empire must survive, and you can help to make sure they do. Please support this campaign if you can and ensure that Hackney Empire can open its doors again for Panto, for music, for comedy and for everyone." - Clive Rowe, Patron


About Hackney Empire 

"Hackney Empire was the most exciting audience I have ever played.  People hanging over the balconies. It crossed every age and gender and race barrier." - Jonathan Kent, Director

Hackney Empire is one of the UK’s most beautiful and best-loved venues. Its model is built around ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to experience the transformative effects of arts and culture.

For over a century Hackney Empire has been a cultural home to generations, where people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities come together and, for decades Hackney Empire has been a platform where under-represented voices can be heard, and a space where isolated communities can be engaged.


Young People

"Hackney Empire is like my home." - Chifa, 19, Creative Futures Participant 

Each year the Hackney Empire: Creative Futures programme works with over 4,000 young people aged 14 - 25 from some of London’s most marginalised communities, using arts and culture to break down barriers to access, raise aspirations, and change lives.


New and Emerging Voices 

“It’s hard to be a part of something if you don’t see people that look like you when you go to these things. If Hackney Empire did not open their doors to me ten years ago I wouldn’t be standing here today." – Jasmyn, 21 Participation Officer, Royal Court Theatre

For over 10 years Hackney Empire has provided career pathways for emerging musicians, artists, creators and producers from underrepresented groups; ensuring that gifted and skilled young people of all backgrounds have the opportunity to develop both personally and professionally.



Hackney Empire's legendary panto is one of the UK's best and best-loved, attracting audiences of over 50,000 annually. It is, for many, their first experience of live performance. As well as welcoming over 10,000 children from local schools, each year we provide hundreds of free tickets to local Housing Associations, Community Groups, Young Careers and our local Women and Children’s Refuges.



"Hackney Empire is a legendary venue which plays a key role in the the cultural, civic and economic life of its community. With an enviable track record in engaging young people from traditionally the most isolated and at-risk communities, Hackney Empire has expertise that we anticipate will be much-needed in the days to come. We are going to need arts and culture to inspire and reconnect us on the other side of this, and we’re especially going to need places like Hackney Empire – which are embedded in their communities and able to bring people together." Philip Glanville, Mayor of Hackney

"Please support this campaign if you can.  Hackney Empire’s future, along with most other theatres in the country, is in real peril. You can help save it.   A world without theatre is unthinkable but at the moment it is a real possibility.  With your support Hackney Empire will re-open its doors and be there to create incredible experiences for all our audiences in the future. Thank you!" Richard Wilson

"The Hackney Empire is facing a crisis in common with so many other venues. I’ve loved it since I first went there in 1988. My gran and grandad saw shows there over 50 years before. It truly is a special place with character, history & a vital role in the area. Donate if you can." - Alan Davies @alandavies1

“Hackney Empire is a magnificent historic gem, a wonderful community theatre and an important performing arts centre. It is invaluable and irreplaceable”. Robert Peston

To be able to open our doors again at a safer time Hackney Empire needs to survive the immediate financial challenges that being closed has brought. We are doing everything we can to enable Hackney Empire to survive but we need YOUR help.


We ask project owners to honour their rewards wherever possible but please note that all pledges are donations and there is no guarantee that you will receive any rewards from the project owner. Please see our Terms of Use for more information regarding rewards for pledges.


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£10 or more

£10 Donation

Every £10 helps us keep Hackney Empire at the heart of its community. We’ll be delighted to thank you on our website.

£25 or more

£25 or more

Make a gift of £25 or more to help save Hackney Empire and in return we'll send you an I Love Hackney Empire pin badge and a thank you on our website

£50 or more

£50 or more

Donate £50 to help Hackney Empire's survival and receive a set of 4 'I love Hackney Empire' badges for your family and friends and a thank you on our website.

£100 or more

Join our Hall of Fame

For gifts of £100 or more your name(s) will join our Hackney Empire Heroes and Legends on our Hall of Fame display in our Foyer when we reopen

£250 or more

Join our Hall of Fame & help our young people

Hackney Empire has been supporting young people from across its communities throughout lockdown. £250 can help us lead an online workshop session. In return your name will join our Heroes and Legends on our Hall of Fame display in our Foyer

£500 or more

8 of 100 claimed

Dedicate a seat in Hackney Empire

Dedicate a seat in Hackney Empire's magical auditorium* - we will engrave your name/message on a plaque and attach it to a specific seat in our stunning Grade II* listed auditorium for 5 years with the option to renew.

£1,000 or more

6 of 50 claimed

Dedicate a pair of seats in Hackney Empire

Dedicate a pair of seat in Hackney Empire's magical auditorium* - we will engrave your name/message on a plaque and attach it to a pair of seats in our stunning Grade II* listed auditorium for 5 years with the option to renew.

£2,500 or more

1 of 10 claimed

Save Hackney Empire & help its youth outreach work

Hackney Empire's work with vulnerable young people has continued throughout lockdown. As well as helping Hackney Empire to survive a gift of £2500 could contribute to 10 week programme for young people offering engagement and connection for up to 25 young people. You’ll receive dedications on a pair of seats in the Hackney Empire auditorium and an invite to see your donation in action.

£5,000 or more

Become a 'Hackney Empire Champion'

Giving £5,000 or more will make a huge contribution to Hackney Empire’s ongoing sustainability in these difficult time and getting us closer to the point where our doors can re-open. These major gifts will be rewarded with all the benefits of the other levels and our deepest gratitude, you Champion!

£50 or more

107 of 107 claimed

£50 or more

Donate £50 to help Hackney Empire's survival and receive a Limited Edition V&A poster of Hackney Empire’s stunning architecture and thank you on our website

Let's make 'Save Hackney Empire' happen

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