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Belfast’s Lyric begins build

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Construction work began today on a new £17.8 million home for Belfast’s Lyric Theatre. Contractors took possession of the Lagan-side site in South Belfast today, seven years after a replacement complex for the 41-year-old venue was first proposed. The new theatre will have two performance spaces and is due to reopen in early 2010.

Finance minister Nigel Dodds said: “The Lyric is one of Northern Ireland’s most important cultural assets and I believe that the new theatre will provide a much-valued facility for audiences and artists alike. The Lyric is also recognised for the important role it has played and will continue to play in the development of drama in Northern Ireland.”

Although Lyric management are still £1 million short of the required budget, chairman Mark Carruthers described the commencement of building as “a red letter day” for Northern Ireland’s only building-based theatre company.

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