Full refurbishment work can now start on the Hull New Theatre following a funding boost in the Budget.
The theatre closed in January and specialists have been working to remove areas of asbestos and undertake technical surveys to provide a further detailed assessment of the building.
This work could only be done when the theatre had closed and further surveys were needed to determine what structural and refurbishment work is required.
A crucial part of this scheme is to build a new 27m fly-tower, which is both incredibly challenging and needs specialist equipment available from a very limited number of suppliers.
Due to the complexity of this work, further ongoing flood prevention planning work and the delay whilst he funding position was clarified, the planned re-opening of the theatre is confirmed for Summer 2017.
Councillor Steven Bayes, Portfolio Holder for Visitor Destination said: “As a Council we are making the biggest investment the city has seen in many years, both for 2017 and as part of a long-term plan to regenerate our economy, securing lasting benefits for the people of Hull and the region.
“We have now secured funding to undertake the improvements required which will result in the theatre reopening in the summer of 2017. The end product will be an excellent facility and something that will be a major attraction to residents and visitors to the city for many years. Investing in Hull’s cultural assets is a top priority for the Council and this project is a key element of the city’s lasting legacy of 2017, alongside improvements already underway at the Ferens Art Gallery, to our public realm and, in the longer term, the development of the Hull Venue and the city centre cruise terminal.
Martin Green, Chief Executive of Hull 2017 said: “I am delighted that the full refurbishment of the theatre can now go ahead, offering the people of Hull and visitors an experience that is second to none. All of Hull’s cultural venues are an integral part of 2017 and we are working with the theatre to ensure that it plays a core role in our year-long events programme”.