Theatre redesign set to begin

Former Playhouse chairman Christine Malkin, who appealed for an architect to redesign the foyer in 2016. EMN-190801-120802001
Former Playhouse chairman Christine Malkin, who appealed for an architect to redesign the foyer in 2016. EMN-190801-120802001

A £60,000 extensive refurbishment of Sleaford’s Georgian theatre is all set to begin after years of planning.

The focus will be on a reorganisation of the foyer, toilets and bar area at the Sleaford Playhouse Theatre on Westgate - an original Georgian theatre built in 1825.

It has served many purposes over the years, and after being bought and restored by amateur dramatic group Sleaford Little Theatre it has been staging music events and plays since 2000.

In the summer of 2016, the Trustees of Sleaford Little Theatre agreed to undertake the long overdue refurbishment of the foyer and bar area.

Tom Creasey from the Playhouse explains: “As first impressions are important to the overall look of the theatre, by improving the foyer, bar and entrance area we aim to give our existing, and new audience members, an enriched experience by providing a warm, inviting and comfortable space to relax in before and during the performance interval.

“With the new layout of the foyer, volunteers will have an improved working area, enabling them to provide an even better service to our audiences.”

The layout of the toilets will be rearranged and the bar area movedround to fit beneath the audience seating with room for storage too.

Sleaford Little Theatre trustees appealed to the local community to seek professionals who would be interested in helping them with the redesign drawings and work, while being sympathetic to the regulations imposed on to a Grade II listed building. Following a lengthy process, the trustees found local-born architect, Ben Couture of Jardine Couture Ltd.

The trustees have also been supported by North Kesteven District Council who agreed to the planning permission and Listed Building requirements.

Simultaneously the trustees researched available funding grants and a bid was submitted to the Arts Council, to which they await the final response in early 2019.

The trustees have agreed to offer the contract for the work to Willow Homes Lincolnshire Ltd. Other local companies have offered to provide some of the materials to help in achieving the plan. Willow Homes advised the trustees that it will take approximately 12 weeks to complete the refurbishment which they are hoping will take place from January to May.

The trustees have made the decision not to commission a spring production, but will take part in the Sleaford Live Festival during May.

On completion of the refurbishment, Sleaford Little Theatre will be holding an open evening for all who are interested in the project.