£1m front-of-house refurbishment scheme. The public areas of the foyer were transformed from their original 1970s condition to a modern contemporary look in a scheme which was designed, procured and largely completed in the space of nine months, working within a very tight closure period of 12 weeks over the summer. At the same time, the Borough Council, who own the building, undertook a programme of refurbishment and replacement works on the roof and external fabric. We used a single contractor with two separate contracts, one with the Borough and one with the theatre.
Despite a number of challenges, including asbestos discovery, the theatre reopened on time in September 2015. Additional funds were raised during the closure period, which also enabled the auditorium to be redecorated and recarpeted at a late stage – as this involved the removal of all the seating, this was a high risk item, but was successfully completed. The architects were particularly creative in stretching the budget much further than was originally envisaged, minimising structural alterations and looking for real value for money in fixtures and fittings.