Wyre Council

Major refurbishment for Thornton Little Theatre

Published on Tuesday 16th February 2010

Wyre Borough Council has announced a £220,000 refurbishment and expansion of Thornton Little Theatre in advance of a major new management partnership with the Paul Nicholas School of Acting.

Development work includes the creation of a new entrance, foyer and multi-use function room, which will be used either for small meetings or additional theatre changing facilities.

Building work is due to start in 1 March and should be finished by mid-June. While the refurbishment is taking place, council officers are striving to ensure it is Business as usual by keeping the venue open for as long as possible.

Tom Pridmore, Director of Leisure Services, said: "This major refurbishment marks a new era for the theatre and moreover the local community who have supported the venue and helped business grow since its first refurbishment in 2003. The development will provide new meeting space and better customer facilities including a permanent bar. This will be operated by the theatre's friends group, who provide such enthusiastic and valuable support."

Since it's re-launch, when the venue changed from the then little-used Thornton Lecture Hall to the now popular Little Theatre, event bookings have grown year on year. Council officials are now keen to see the venue fully reach its potential and in a unique partnership forged with the Paul Nicholas School of Acting who will make the venue their national headquarters, the venue will host more community activities.

More details about this partnership will be announced in due course.

In order to facilitate the work, there will be some disturbance to existing hirers. However council officials are keen to minimise the impact and are working with all those groups who have bookings at the venue to ensure that as many events as possible are able to continue.

Councillor Peter Murphy, portfolio holder for Living Communities, added: 'The council is making the investment in the facilities in support of a new management arrangement with the Paul Nicholas School of Acting.

"This will in turn reduce the ongoing subsidy of the venue and lead to new programmes for local people to enjoy. While some disturbance is inevitable we hope our existing customers will be patient and appreciate the investment being made to improve facilities for them."

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