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Warrington in line for first theatre in 27 years

Upper Bridge Street, Warrington. Plans for a new theatre in the town have been back by the borough council

Plans for Warrington’s first theatre in 27 years have been backed by the town’s local council.

A commission was set up earlier this year to support the development of culture in the borough by “providing realistic yet aspirational recommendations” to further the town’s ambitions to “become a place where culture can thrive”.

It made a series of 15 recommendations, including creating a new theatre for Warrington that “meets the needs of both the local vibrant, successful amateur community and touring professional companies”.

The town’s previous theatre, Crosfields Centenary Theatre, closed in 1991.

The commission’s recommendations have been formally supported by Warrington Borough Council. The commission’s report says the town does not have “a strong sense of identity” and that the town centre “lacks vibrancy”. It claims people are traveling elsewhere to “fulfil their cultural needs”.

“Development of a new theatre space should be driven by our grassroots companies, working alongside professional partners to ensure delivery of a community-owned and engaging asset,” the report states.

It recommends that professionals should “work with young people to write and put on plays in the community”, which would in turn encourage parents to engage with theatre, and that shopping centres and pubs should be used as pop-up venues.

An action plan to take the proposals forward is to be developed later this year.