LEEDS Heritage Theatres is the new name of the new charity that runs Leeds City Varieties and Leeds Grand Theatre & Opera House.

The company, controlled by Leeds City Council and launched at the end of August, also manages the Hyde Park Picture House.

The announcement comes months after the historic buildings were forced to close due to COVID-19. Chief executive officer Chris Blythe said the name change and rebranding were originally scheduled for April this year.

Chris said: “We had plans to announce the exciting news in a manner more fitting of our industry. Unfortunately due to the pandemic we had to postpone the announcement whilst we attended to more urgent matters, namely closing our three buildings and furloughing 96% of our staff, while maintaining some business continuity.

“Now, after considerable work behind the scenes, we are ready to put the new name, brand and website into the public domain.”

The forerunner company and charity, Leeds Grand Theatre & Opera House Ltd, took over the lease of Leeds Grand Theatre in 1969, buying it outright in 1973 following a long period of unrest, including plans to demolish the building in 1968.

This was followed by the acquisition of The Varieties in 1987 and finally Hyde Park Picture House - in Headingley - in 1989.

Chris added: “Whilst we have been trading for more than 30 years as Leeds Grand Theatre & Opera House Ltd, we have long known that the name was not befitting of our company, and the role our venues and people play within the Leeds arts scene.”