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Royal Exchange pop-up theatre to return to Stalybridge in 2025

Press Release: 20/03/2024

Tameside Council Assistant Executive Member for Culture, Heritage and Digital Inclusivity Cllr SangitaThe Royal Exchange Theatre is to make an exciting return to Tameside in 2025 which its popular The Den’ project.

Hosted once again at Stalybridge Civic Hall, next year’s festival aims to be even bigger and better than before, working closely with Tameside Council along with schools, groups, organisations and residents across the borough.

The partnership aims to build on the legacy work from the inaugural Den in 2019, which generated initiatives such as the Dukinfield Craft Café with Jigsaw Homes. The Royal Exchange are also working with a Hyde-based theatre maker and filmmaker as a local Community Connector, organically building on relationships in the area. The theatre also runs programmes to expand skills off stage as well as on, with front-of-house and technical skills training.

The project will also help celebrate Stalybridge Civic Hall as a valued community amenity following on from the completion of the current restoration works. 

Tameside Council Assistant Executive Member for Culture, Heritage and Digital Inclusivity Cllr Sangita Patel said: “This is fabulous news for Stalybridge and Tameside and a wonderful opportunity for local people to get more involved in the arts and enjoy the performances, workshops and activities that will form a part of the prestigious project.

“It is also a fantastic way to continue to celebrate Stalybridge’s Greater Manchester’s Town of Culture legacy, which has really put Stalybridge on the map as a cultural and visitor destination. The Royal Exchange Theatre’s The Den proved exceptionally popular when it came to Stalybridge previously and I’m really excited about the opportunities this new venture will bring.”

Director of Engagement Inga Hirst said: “We are thrilled to be continuing our residency in Tameside. Alongside brilliant local residents and partner organisations, we are excited to bring together a new group of Local Exchange Ambassadors, who will help us find out what Tameside residents want and need to bring people together to make this vision a reality. We will co-create a community arts and culture festival with local people in our unique in-the-round mobile space The Den, which will be a true celebration of culture and creativity in Tameside. We are grateful to all the wonderful partners and people we have worked with over the last six years, and are excited to continue to build upon these relationships and platform the best Tameside has to offer.

For Tameside residents looking to find out more, get involved as an ambassador or get their own organisation involved, please complete the expression of interest form at or please contact

Audience feedback from the previous Den in Tameside:

“It was a wonderful experience, not just the performance, but what I noticed and experienced was how as strangers, we as an audience engaged with each other before the show, during the interval and after. A unique experience.”

“I can’t believe I could have so much fun at the age of 83.”

Local Exchange is generously supported by the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation and The Oglesby Charitable Trust.

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