June 2022


A&D grant gets a straight 'A' from Shakespeare Schoolroom

"We are so grateful to the county council. We have also benefited from their Project Warwickshire scheme and their support has been wonderful and allowed us to keep people employed."

The visitor experience at a tourist attraction in Stratford-upon-Avon has been hugely enhanced - and jobs protected - by a grant from Warwickshire County Council. 

Shakespeare's Schoolroom & Guildhall, in Church Street, offers visitors the chance to walk in the rooms in which the great writer was educated and see and touch desks and other artefacts from the time when he was there.

Part of King Edward's VI School, Shakespeare's Schoolroom & Guildhall is an integral part of the town's celebration of Shakespeare. It is totally authentic and oozes history yet is also living history as it is still used to teach children today.  

Now its quality of visitor experience, and commensurate increase in customer spend, is much enhanced following a grant from the county council's Adapt & Diversify Scheme. 

The retail shop has been reorganised to be much brighter and more appealing and stylish internal and external signing is now in place. The elegant 16th-century building is gleaming after extensive repainting while a desk in the schoolroom has been adapted to make it accessible for all. 

The Adapt & Diversify grant has transformed the rooms' tourist appeal, which has put it on a more better business footing, says General Manager, Lindsey Armstrong. 

"The grant enabled us to do some amazing things," said Lindsey. "Our gift shop was really small, so we used the funding to expand it by repositioning the reception desk and putting in three more retail units. The space is now much more inviting and customer-friendly and our retail spend per head has almost doubled.  

"The whole customer experience has been upgraded. In addition to that, we have had new computers and laptops which makes all the admin so such easier and more efficient.  

"Upstairs in the schoolroom, one of our desks has been modified to make our quill-writing and Tudor games fully accessible for all visitors. The modification was done by a local craftsman and it is brilliant, so that the desk is equipped for the 21st century but fits beautifully into the 16th-century environment." 

The grant has been especially helpful in light of complications caused by Covid. Much of the improvement work was done during and just after the pandemic which further complicated matters but the flexibility of the county council's Business & Economy team, which administered the Adapt & Diversify Scheme, kept the project moving forward.    

"Louisa Smith and the team were so flexible," said Lindsey. "That was brilliant because with Covid everything kept changing. What we eventually did was very different to what we originally intended! 

"We are so grateful to the county council. We have also benefited from their Project Warwickshire scheme and their support has been wonderful and allowed us to keep people employed."

Project Warwickshire is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and Warwickshire County Council. The support is delivered by Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with Shakespeare’s England and Northern Warwickshire Tourism.”


Have your say...

Comments are closed for this article