Hull New Theatre unveils expansion plans
Plans have been submitted for a major upgrade of Hull’s New Theatre, which would include increasing both the stage size and the auditorium.
By expanding the stage size and increasing the height of the fly tower by five metres, larger touring shows will be able to visit the theatre.
The proposals also include increasing the auditorium’s capacity, which is currently 1,159.
In an application submitted to Hull City Council, the theatre’s foyer facilities and dressing rooms would also be refurbished. Dedicated rehearsal spaces and a dance studio would also be developed if the proposal is successful.
Access to the building will also be improved as part of the plans; the application described the venue’s current accessibility as one of its “main issues”.
“The main driver for this refurbishment and expansion is to address the inadequacies of the theatre as a place of public entertainment. [One] of the main issues is access for all both backstage and front of house. Currently there is no back of house disabled access and the front of house is very poorly served,” it said.
The grade II-listed theatre, which was built in 1830, is owned and managed by Hull City Council.
If planning permission is approved, work is expected to begin in January 2016, with a completion date of December 2016. In this case, the theatre will go dark for the entire period.
The expansion will be facilitated by taking over a former service garage belonging to Humberside Fire and Rescue, which is located next door to the theatre.
The planned renovation comes ahead of Hull’s tenure as UK City of Culture in 2017.
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