- The Stage - https://www.thestage.co.uk -

Open-air ‘coal mine’ theatre in Kent’s Betteshanger Park to open in 2018

A new £70,000 open-air theatre and cinema with a 3,000 capacity is being built in Kent on a former coal mine.

The grass amphitheatre at Betteshanger Country Park near Deal will be used for open-air theatre, cinema, market days and special events.

It forms part of a £40 million sustainable parks project that will also include an £8 million visitors centre and two tepee event spaces.

Work has already begun on the three-acre event space to cap the ground with clay, cover it in top soil and seed the grass. The amphitheatre will be open from 2018, allowing time for the grass to grow.

Mark Lumsdon-Taylor, deputy group principal and deputy chief executive of the Hadlow Group, which is leading the development, said: “Our aim is to make Betteshanger the UK’s first destination to celebrate the evolution of energy, from its heritage to future energy sources in all its forms within unrivalled, state-of-the-art facilities.

“Using local suppliers and contractors means we maximise the impact of the project for the local economy and keep the environmental footprint of the project as small as possible, which is fundamental to what we are seeking to achieve at Betteshanger.”