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Hull New Theatre reopening delayed until summer 2017

Hull New Theatre has plans for expansion Hull New Theatre: reopening delay means it will miss out on even more of the City of Culture year
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Hull New Theatre will miss out on at least three more months of the City of Culture festival next year, after the venue’s reopening was pushed back to summer 2017.

The theatre closed in January for a major refurbishment, which will raise the height of the fly tower, allowing it to host larger touring shows.

It was expected to reopen in April 2017, however a period of uncertainty over the project’s funding has meant it is now not expected to open again until at least August.

The late reopening means the venue will be dark for more than half of Hull’s year as City of Culture in 2017.

Other reasons given for the delay include further ongoing work to prevent future flooding, and the “complexity” of the fly tower extension.

The theatre lost out on a £5 million redevelopment boost from the the Arts Council in January, but decided to press on with the building work.

Then in March, chancellor George Osborne announced the theatre would receive the same amount of money directly from the government to support its renovation.

Defending the delay, councillor Steven Bayes said: “We are making the biggest investment the city has seen in many years, both for 2017 and as part of a long-term plan to regenerate our economy, securing lasting benefits for the people of Hull and the region.”

He claimed the fully renovated theatre would be “an excellent facility and something that will be a major attraction to residents and visitors to the city for many years”.

Hull 2017 chief Martin Green said all of Hull’s venues were an “integral part” of the festival.

He added: “We are working with the theatre to ensure that it plays a core role in our year-long events programme”.

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