Harrogate Theatre's £8m rejig to improve public comfort and access

Harrogate Theatre.
Harrogate Theatre.

Harrogate Theatre has unveiled further details of plans for what could be its biggest development for more than 100 years.

Last week the Harrogate Advertiser reported that the hugely successful theatre hopes to submit an application next year to the Arts Council for capital investment in a project with a budget of between £5 to 8 million.

The aim is to turn this architecturally-important Frank Tugwell-designed Victorian theatre into a cultural hub for the town and improve both its facilities and look.

Now Harrogate Theatre’s chief executive David Bown has revealed some more of the details to the Harrogate Advertiser.

If they got the go-ahead, the plans would include:

Improving public services and comfort within the council-owned building.

Creating a fully accessible theatre across all six levels.

Transforming the theatre to enable it to contribute to regenerating Oxford Street in line with Harrogate Borough Council’s Town Centre Master plan.

Restoring the theatre’s turret and Cheltenham Parade stained glass windows and lighting to create a stunning visual impact that will impact on the look of Oxford Street.

Creating a more spacious and comfortable balcony.

The next step is to draw up RIBA architects plans for the theatre’s proposed changes.

Should the detailed proposal find favour with the Arts Council, the theatre would then be in line to receive 70% of the budget.

If all goes well, work could be completed by 2020 in time for Harrogate Theatre’s 120th anniversary celebrations.