A WEALTH management company has helped Winchester Theatre Royal move closer to survival.

Rathbones has donated £5,000 to the survival fundraising appeal of Play to the Crowd – the charity behind the theatre and Hat Fair.

It needs to reach £225,000 by the end of September. So far, more than £180,000 has been raised.

Will Kendall, investment director at Rathbones said: "Rathbones is delighted and proud to support the Play to the Crowd Survival Appeal in this way.

"The Theatre Royal, Hat Fair and Playmakers are integral and vital parts of the Winchester community and identity. Very simply, we need them and all they offer to residents and the local economy.

"There has never been a more important time to help and support one another, and we hope that this fantastic public effort is successful in protecting the charity and this very important pillar of our city."

Deryck Newland, chief executive of Play to the Crowd, added: "We’re delighted and extremely grateful to receive this generous contribution to our Survival Appeal from Rathbones. It’s terrific that they have come forward in our hour of need and recognised the impact we make to the city – both economically but also to the well-being of Winchester residents."

Donations to Play to the Crowd’s Survival Appeal can be made via its Crowdfunder page, via cheque (made payable to Play to the Crowd) and sent to Theatre Royal Winchester, Jewry Street, SO23 8SB or by calling the Box Office on 01962 840 440.