Birmingham Hippodrome has announced the first cohort of their new Access & Inclusion Advocates programme.

The programme will play an important role in Birmingham Hippodrome’s ambition to be the most accessible venue of its scale in the UK. The group of Access & Inclusion Advocates will meet monthly at Birmingham Hippodrome, sharing experience and ideas which will help to break down barriers for individual and community access to theatre.

This first cohort is made up of 21 people representative of different ages, experiences, backgrounds and cultures. The group will explore a variety of topics throughout their time on the programme, ranging from development of the venue to the customer access experience. The group will also have the opportunity to develop their knowledge and networks.

Each member of the programme will engage with sector specialists, the staff and senior team at Birmingham Hippodrome, as well as other participants on the programme to explore, challenge and grow together. Zaylie-Dawn Wilson, Head of Creative Partnerships at Birmingham Hippodrome, said: “We are really thrilled to have secured such a fantastic cohort after a competitive recruitment process, we were overwhelmed by how many people applied with real passion and great ideas to develop our access offer.

“This programme will create a safe space for the advocates to share their ideas and be themselves. By the end of their year with us, we will have developed new ideas as a collective and begin implementing activity which will develop our access offer with representative voices at its core.”