WORK BEGINS ON THE GRAND THEATRE’S ‘STREET TO SEAT’ PROJECT
Work has started on the second phase of the Grand Theatre’s development plan that will see the entrance to the theatre restored to its original splendour. The work is expected to take about twelve weeks.
The aptly named, ‘Street to Seat’ project will improve all aspects of the audience’s experience as they enter through the Church Street entrance until they take their seat in the stalls.
Outside, the wrought iron canopy and main entrance doors will be stripped back, repaired and repainted.
Inside, the box office will be totally transformed with new counters and serving windows. The foyer itself will be refurbished with the addition of a platform lift to take wheelchairs to the stalls. The lower toilets will also be renovated with new fittings and lighting.
During the building work the Grand Theatre will be open as normal and will continue to offer a full programme of productions.
The work has been made possible with funding from the SITA Trust, The Theatres Trust, and the Friends of The Grand.
It has been designed by architectural and planning consultancy, Cassidy + Ashton, project managed by Blackpool Council Leisure & Operational Services and contracted by Blackpool-based F Parkinson Ltd.
Jools Granville of SITA Trust said,
“We’re delighted to have been able to offer our maximum grant of £60,000 through the Landfill Communities Fund to enable this project to go ahead.
Undoubtedly the remodelling of the foyer will enhance the visitor experience and the installation of a lift will enable disabled visitors to access the stalls without having to go outside, down the street and in the back entrance which is less than ideal.”
Kate Carmichael, Resources Adviser at The Theatres Trust said
“We’re pleased that we could provide a £4,850 grant from the Theatres Protection Fund Small Grant Scheme and help with restoration of the theatre’s Church Street entrance doors. All of The Grand’s audiences will be able to experience the beauty of a true, and fully accessible, Frank Matcham entrance for years to come!”
John Buck, Friends of The Grand Chairman said,
“The Friends of The Grand have always been committed to raising money to enhance and preserve this Heritage Building, and we are thrilled to be involved in this project.”
Roger Lloyd Jones, chairman of Blackpool Grand Theatre Trust, owners of the building said,
“We are excited to launch this phase of our development work as we start to refurbish our foyer and box office.
“We are extremely grateful to SITA Trust for their generous financial support, and to the Friends of The Grand and the Theatres Trust.
“Our architects, Cassidy + Ashton, have managed to sensitively incorporate twenty first century technology and facilities in their design while remaining true to the spirit of this beautiful Victorian building.”
Mike Tyler, Business Development Manager at F Parkinson LTD said,
“It has been a number of years since we last worked and supported the team at The Grand Theatre. Having been selected to be undertaking the works to enhance this prestigious iconic building nestled in the heart of our own town is an honour.”
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.”
Box Office 01253 74 33 39 or visit blackpoolgrand.co.uk