Plans for new outreach and rehearsal facilities at Malvern Theatres have been given the green light, meaning the venue can begin its first redevelopment in more than two decades.
The £1 million project will allow the Worcestershire theatre to expand its participation activities and provide a purpose-built home for its outreach work. The theatre said current local community classes are often oversubscribed and the theatre is forced to host them in front-of-house areas, such as its bar, due to a lack of space.
Proposals were first mooted last year, and Malvern Hills District Council has now approved plans for the studio space, which will also serve as a rehearsal space for visiting companies, as well as the theatre’s own youth company.
It will be fully accessible, including specially adapted facilities for visitors with disabilities.
The project will be the first major construction the theatre has seen since it was refurbished 21 years ago.
Malvern Theatres’ chief executive Nic Lloyd said: “We are delighted with this planning decision and are excited for what it means for the future of the theatre.
“Malvern Theatres is the lifeblood of the town and this extension will help ensure that everyone in our community, no matter what age or ability, can engage with the arts in a meaningful way.”
The theatre has already secured grants from its local authority, as well as Arts Council England and several trusts and foundations. It will also launch a public campaign to help raise the £1 million target.