Theatr Clwyd has unveiled the initial designs of a multimillion-pound redevelopment, which it hopes will secure the future of the north Wales venue.
Architectural firm Haworth Tompkins is behind the project, which is expected to cost around £30 million and will take place as part of a phased construction period to allow the theatre to remain open throughout.
A 300-seat pop-up theatre will be built adjacent to the main site while the work, which is due to begin in 2021, takes place.
The building will be remodelled for the first time in its 43-year history to become greener and more energy efficient, and will improve wheelchair accessibility in the building’s two theatres.
New rehearsal rooms will be created, with sprung floors and higher ceilings to enable actors to rehearse with sets, while the theatre’s dressing rooms will also be refurbished.
In the Anthony Hopkins theatre – the building’s main space – the stage will be reinforced, with the mechanics and fly system repaired.
Outside the performance spaces, the project will create new facilities that will be dedicated to health and well-being and Theatr Clwyd’s community work.
The purpose-built well-being spaces will provide a home for the organisation’s work with vulnerable people in its community, while the redevelopment will also introduce rehearsal and teaching facilities for Flintshire Music Service and a youth hub.
The work on its public spaces will include improvements to the gallery and cinema that are part of the Theatr Clwyd complex, and new family areas, including an indoor play area and adventure playground. The number of toilets in the building will be quadrupled.
Backstage, a new workshop, which can be viewed by the public, will be built, and the theatre’s wardrobe department improved.
Refurbishments to its function room will mean it can host large-scale events, while the theatre’s cafe will also be improved.
Executive director Liam Evans-Ford said: “We are thrilled to be moving towards the next stage of this once-in-a-lifetime project to secure the future of Theatr Clwyd and safeguard its economic impact in north-east Wales, which is worth more than £7.7 million annually.
“The project will also ensure that north Wales continues to export world-class theatre and build upon the 500,000 people who have seen a Theatr Clwyd production elsewhere in the UK over the last two years.”
A public consultation has been launched, which runs until September 23, during which time members of the public can give feedback on the plans.
Earlier this month, it was revealed that operation of the theatre could transfer from the local council to an independent trust.