Swindon’s Wyvern Theatre is to officially be named the most welcoming theatre in the South West at the UK Theatre Awards.

The venue will also now compete for the overall title of UK’s Most Welcoming Theatre.

The awards, administered by industry body UK Theatre and run in association with Smooth Radio take place every year.

The category of Most Welcoming Theatre is decided by public vote, offering customers the chance to celebrate and support their local theatres.

Twelve regional award-winners were announced today and the crowning of the overall UK winner will take place at the UK Theatre Awards ceremony at London’s Guildhall on Sunday, October 15.

The Wyvern, which is operated by HQ Theatres on behalf of Swindon Borough Council, won the award, despite competition from a large number of other venues across the South West, including last year’s winner Salisbury Playhouse.

A spokesman for the firm said: "A dedicated pool of staff and volunteers are behind the success for The Wyvern and the same team also run the Swindon Arts Centre – priding themselves on providing a welcoming and inclusive environment, as well as excellent customer service.

"Customer feedback is consistently high for the theatre across platforms including Trip Advisor and the venue is consistently rated ‘excellent’ in HQ Theatres’ mystery shopper surveys.

"Community initiatives run at the theatre such as their Memory Café, Summer Youth Project, Family Fun Days and local charity partnerships also provide opportunities for local people to get involved and be welcomed into the venue."

Derek Aldridge, director of Swindon Theatres, said the theatre team was delighted to have made the final cut.

He said: "We are thrilled and extremely proud to have won the award for the South West’s Most Welcoming Theatre.

"The whole team here work so hard to ensure that our theatres are at the heart of our communities and our customers feel welcome and have a positive and enjoyable experience when they visit, so to have that recognised is fantastic.

"We’re very grateful to everyone who took the time to vote and hope to welcome them all back to the Wyvern soon."

Julian Bird, chief executive of UK Theatre, said: “Theatres play a vital role in communities across the UK, so it has been wonderful to see so many votes cast.

"This campaign brings together audiences, theatres, performers and producers and gives everyone the opportunity to celebrate their local venue.”