One of Hull’s most treasured venues has regained its identity as major refurbishment work to the Grade II listed building reaches another milestone.
Work on Hull New Theatre is rapidly progressing and its name is now proudly back in position on the building.
The refurbished space and larger modern back stage area will accommodate larger touring theatre companies, putting the theatre back on the map as a go to venue.
Mark Boothby, Project Manager at Sewell Construction, which is carrying out the work, said: “The theatre regaining its identity is a big milestone in the project because the building is becoming a theatre again.
“We’re just over two thirds of the way through the project. Up until to now, component parts have been put together. But now, we’re turning it back into the amazing venue and the creative performance space it is.”
The New Theatre improvements, which also include building a new front of house area, modern café and additional bar, are possible as a result of the Hull UK City of Culture 2017 status and funding provided in the Chancellor’s Budget Announcement in March 2016.
A time lapse video of the fly tower being demolished and rebuilt, as well as the theatre name being put back in place, has today been released as work the theatre progresses.
In the existing building at the front of the theatre, doors are being hung, suspended ceilings and light fittings are being installed and decorating is underway, with floor finishing work in the basement area progressing.
Existing staircases are being re-plastered in the foyer, while the Circle Bar is being decorated and partition walls installed alongside a new kitchen being fitted.
Mark said: “We’re also progressing with the cabling and ventilation works. To the rear of the building, the fly tower is up, the steel work is finished and cladding is coming towards completion.
“We’re building the changing rooms in the basement of the fly tower with a view of casting the stage by the end of the month.”
The work is taking place alongside the development of the Ron Dearing University Technical College (UTC), which together are transforming the historic Kingston Square in Hull City Centre.
Sewell Group is a Major Partner in Hull UK City of Culture 2017.
Councillor Stephen Brady, Leader of Hull City Council, said: “Investing in Hull’s cultural assets is a top priority for the council and the Hull New Theatre is a key element of the city’s lasting legacy of 2017.
“We are making the biggest investment the city has seen in many years, both for 2017 and as part of a long-term plan to regenerate the city’s economy, securing lasting benefits for the people of Hull and the region.
“It’s fantastic to see the rebuild of this key cultural facility progressing so well and I’m looking forward to seeing the results in the coming months.”
Janice Wincott, Theatre and Halls Manager, Hull Culture and Leisure, said she is delighted to see the theatre taking shape.
She said: “The fruition of the transformation taking place at Hull New Theatre is now becoming visible, particularly the new fly tower which is used to fly scenery, stage effects and sometimes people.
“Increasing its size, along with a state-of-the-art technical infrastructure, will enable the theatre to be in the optimum position to host key touring productions and enhancements to the front of house facilities will ensure theatre goers have a superb environment in which to enjoy their experience.
“As the theatre progresses into the final stages of its refurbishment, naturally our customers are keen to find out about upcoming productions ahead of when the theatre opens later this year and we are pleased to say that we will be making an announcement to reveal these by the end of February, with a number of productions also going on sale before the month ends.”
Martin Green, Director Hull UK City of Culture 2017, said: “It is exciting seeing the progress of the Hull New Theatre redevelopment. It’s another example of the council investing in the long term future of the city and will be a wonderful venue for people living here and visitors to enjoy. Hull New Theatre will be a great asset, helping further boost the city’s status as a cultural destination.”