Curtain rises on Grand Theatre refurbishment

Work has started at Blackpool’s 120-year-old Grand Theatre after the council approved plans from architectural and planning consultancy, Cassidy + Ashton.

Internal alterations at the Grade II* listed building include a new staircase to provide secure access to the first and second floor levels, as well as improving disabled facilities for theatre goers and performers.

The £1 million revamp also includes complete reconfiguration of the venue’s ground floor and box office to create a more welcoming aesthetic, along with enhanced dressing rooms and a new rehearsal area, which has space for 60 to 70 people.

The project is also helping to rationalise office accommodation, which at present is spread throughout the building, to bring together staff by creating a united working environment.

Lawrence McBurney, associate architect at Cassidy + Ashton, said:

“The Grand Theatre is a jewel in the crown of Blackpool’s prestigious heritage and we’re determined to preserve its historic importance.

“The work will greatly improve disabled access by rationalising the changing space to create an enjoyable theatre experience for future generations.”

Built in 1984, the Grand Theatre, was designed by the legendary theatrical architect Frank Matcham. With a capacity of 1,053 seats within its four-tier auditorium, it continues to attract audiences of more than 130,000 each year.

With Parkinson’s of Blackpool the appointed contractor, completion is expected in summer 2015

Ref: 27338