Save The Burnley Empire Theatre

We need your help & support to save the Burnley Empire Theatre and secure its future for generations to come! Please get involved.

We did it!

On 29th Jul 2016 we successfully raised £2,282 with 94 supporters in 42 days


The Burnley Empire Theatre Trust was formed at the end of 2015 to save the town’s last and only remaining Victorian theatre. BETT are working with local authorities and The Theatres Trust to raise enough funds to schedule a viability study. The Empire Theatre is in need of urgent repair and restoration: your donations will go towards helping fund the viability study and additional further costs needed throughout the project to raise awareness of this theatre’s plight. 


Short History of The Empire Theatre

The 2000 seat Burnley Empire Theatre was built in 1894. The auditorium was reconstructed in 1911 by the architect Bertie Crewe. It is the only Grade II listed purpose built Victorian theatre in Burnley and possibly one of six remaining in the country. The theatre is considered to have a high level of architectural interest on a national scale, the principal feature being the Bertie Crewe interior which showcases elaborate detail with robust and richly formed plasterwork in the classical style. The theatre has been closed since 1995.

1894    Built and originally designed by G.B Rawcliffe

1911    Auditorium reconstructed and re designed by  Bertie Crewe

1894 - 1938 Acts from around the world performed at Burnley Empire Theatre

1938 - 1970 Operated as a cinema

1970 - 1995 Operated as a Bingo Hall


Burnley Empire Theatre Trust aim to secure the building as an opportunity for training and apprenticeships in Lancashire with on-site learning and experience, working with Burnley College and UCLAN throughout the restoration process. Further educational and employment opportunities will be supported when the restoration is complete, to facilitate a fully functioning performance venue for students at the colleges, musicians, private /corporate groups and professional and amateur theatre companies providing them with an historically valuable venue and adding a beautiful restored Victorian venue onto the circuit in East Lancashire.


 To the right you will see the pledge options along with different rewards that are offered for each donation. 

BETT Secretary Q&A Interview


BETT Secretary Q&A Crowdfunder Interview from Burnley Empire Theatre Trust on Vimeo.

All donations contributed to Burnley Empire Theatre Trust will be put towards the total funding needed to carry out a viability study and raising awaness of the campaign to save the Burnley Empire Theatre. If at any point our campaign fails to continue all funds raised that are unspent will be divided evenly and donated to The Theatres Trust and Basics Junior Theatre School in Burnely.  

BETT Chairman Q&A Interview

BETT Chairman Q&A Crowdfunder Interview from Burnley Empire Theatre Trust on Vimeo.

BETT are truly grateful for any donations that you can give and kindly thank you for your support!

Our fundraising campaign has been featured by:



Like the Facebook Page

Join the Facebook Group Page

Tweet us @BurnleyEmpire #savetheempire 

Please sign the Online Petition

BETT will make every effort to provide the reward when a pledge has been made, rewards will be posted via Royal Mail second class.

Photographs taken by Mark Salmon as seen in the Burnely Express

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