Growth and Legacy Project
Covid-19 Project Update
Due to delays as a result of COVID 19 Hertford Theatre will no longer be closing its doors in January 2021 for the redevelopment of the site.
Instead, Hertford Theatre will offer a full programme of arts events and activities through to July 2021 ahead of the proposed redevelopment which is due to commence in Aug 2021.
Growth & Legacy Feedback
Hertford Theatre raises the curtain on expansion plans.
The additional £6.4mn for the Hertford Theatre expansion was agreed at Full Council last night.
This extra money forms part of the overall £19.9mn budget to deliver the exciting plans for redevelopment, which include:
Three new cinema screens, which will allow for screenings of newly released films
More seating in the main auditorium and a new 150-seat studio
A riverside café-bar for theatre and castle park visitors
A relaxed, open public plaza-style setting
Additional space for community hire
The Hertford Theatre development project is being funded in full by Public Works Loan Board lending, which will in turn, be repaid in full over a 30 year period.
On opening, the new Hertford Theatre will become self-sustaining.
Not only will it provide a legacy income for the Council but it will contribute positively to the wider day and night time Hertford economy.
The first act in the exciting redevelopment and expansion of Hertford Theatre is under way.
On Sunday 17th November in the River Room at Hertford Theatre, members of the public were able to attend a drop-in event, where they were able to view the current proposed plans and meet the team and architects delivering them.
Eric Buckmaster, executive member for wellbeing, said:
"We are delighted to be able to make such a huge investment in our already very successful theatre in Hertford. Hertford Theatre is a vibrant, focal point of the town and this expansion will allow us to provide an even better offering for our visitors."
The team has also held events with key users and potential users of the theatre and, after taking everyone's comments into consideration, the council hopes to submit a planning application later this year.
As part of that process, there will be a formal consultation when people will be able to comment on the final plans.
Architects appointed for Growth and Legacy Project.
We are delighted to let you know that Bennetts Associates have been appointed as the architects to transform Hertford Theatre. The scene is now set for one of the most exciting performances to be hosted by Hertford Theatre – its £13.5m expansion over the next three years.
Bennetts Associates were appointed after a comprehensive tender process that attracted bids from across Europe. They are design leaders in their field, having worked on some amazing cultural buildings throughout the UK including Storyhouse in Chester, The Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, Hampstead Theatre in London and The Kings Theatre, Edinburgh.
The remarkable Growth and Legacy scheme will deliver:
• Three bespoke cinema screens allowing screenings of newly released films
• More seats in the main auditorium and a new 150-seat studio
• A relaxing and open public plaza-style setting
• An improved riverside café-bar for theatre visitors and people enjoying the park.
Bennetts Associates will develop a design and costings which will be submitted for planning permission later in 2020. But before that happens, there will be a full programme of consultation opportunities for people to comment on the proposals.
Eric Buckmaster, executive member for wellbeing, said: "I'm delighted that we have appointed a leader in the field, Bennetts Architects, who will be working with us on our wide-reaching ideas for Hertford Theatre. The theatre has become a cultural and social hub for the town and this project will build on that position, ensuring that it remains exciting and relevant for its growing audience. It will also allow it to continue as a major draw for visitors from out of town who love theatre, film and live performances, bringing benefits to the wider economy as well."
Rhys Thomas, director of Hertford Theatre, said: “This is a really exciting time for the theatre and our audiences. The story of Hertford Theatre is remarkable and the team are looking forward to working with the architects to further develop this special building for the people of Hertford, East Herts and beyond.”
Simon Erridge, director at Bennetts Associates, said: “We’re really looking forward to working with the team at East Herts, and also engaging with the people of Hertford as we develop our design proposals in the coming months. The beautiful riverside site will be transformed to create a new building which will become the social and cultural heart of the town. We recognise the significance of this project, and the enormous potential for it to make a positive impact on the identity of the town and the wellbeing of its communities.”
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Exciting times! Hertford Theatre is going to be transformed!
East Herts Council's have agreed to invest in the future of Hertford Theatre, transforming it into a place that will enhance the lives of visitors and the town itself, creating a fantastic arts centre in the heart of the county town.
The £13.5m investment would enable the centre to include:
· Three bespoke cinema screens allowing screenings of newly released films.
· More seats in the main auditorium.
· A new 150-seat studio.
· Uncovering the 12th century motte at the back of the theatre which people can reach directly from The Wash, creating an exciting link between the theatre, Castle Gardens and Hertford Castle.
· An improved riverside café-bar for both theatre visitors and people enjoying the park and Castle Gardens.
· Improved access to all areas of the building so that artists can better reach the stage, backstage and the dressing rooms.
As you can imagine, we're excited about the future and we're working hard with lots of different people, companies and organisations to ensure the success of this project!
We'll keep this page updated with information when there's news.