Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre is to undergo a £4.6 million redevelopment, which will see the first major refurb of the auditorium in the venue’s 60-year history.
The auditorium of the theatre, which was built in 1958, will be “restored to its former glory”, with the seats, carpets and ceilings to be revamped. Backstage areas and the orchestra pit will also be brought up to date.
Additionally, the refurbishment will see a first-floor space transformed into a flexible bar, cafe and work area, allowing the theatre to expand its catering offering.
It was announced in the autumn budget on October 29 that the government will invest £8.5 million in Coventry, to help prepare it to host UK City of Culture in 2021. Part of this will go towards the refurbishment, but it has not yet been confirmed how much.
The Belgrade Theatre will be launching a public fundraising campaign towards the project in March next year.
It aims to complete the refurbishment of the auditorium over summer 2019, and the rest of the works will be done in summer 2020.
Belgrade Theatre executive director Joanna Reid said: “This is a fantastic injection of much-needed cash to the city to boost our cultural infrastructure, and it’s brilliant to receive it now so that we can get on and undertake the works and be completely ready for 2021.
“The element of the award coming to the Belgrade needs to be confirmed, but we know that it is a major funding milestone for us and we continue to work to raise the required funds for our £4.6m capital development project.”