Globe's £7m revamp plans update issued

DETAILS about the progress of the refurbishment of Stockton’s once-iconic Globe Theatre have been issued to Stockton Borough Council’s cabinet committee.

The council has committed more than £1m to redeveloping the 2,500-seater theatre but the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has committed most of the money at nearly £4m.

However so far HLF has only handed over £401,600 to the Art Deco, Grade II-listed Stockton High Street building, and the organisation will need a detailed report before giving the other £3.5m.

That request led the council’s cabinet committee to ask for a report on how preparatory work is going and also to seek assurances on the management structure being set up at The Globe by its owners, Jomast.

Stockton Council will also be represented on the new Globe Stockton Foundation, which will oversee the venture, and it has been suggested that Neil Schneider, chief executive of the authority, be a trustee.

So far most of the money has been spent on stabilising what was a waterlogged, vandal-hit building and details of the theatre’s internal and external redevelopment, which will eventually cost £7m, are still being worked out. Surveys are also being carried out including a digital survey of the whole building and a conservation plan.

A report must be submitted to the HLF next summer 2015 and, if approved, the remaining £3.5m will be released so that physical works can begin.

The temporary building wrap which is currently displayed on the front of the Globe Theatre will be removed for approximately five weeks to allow the digital and structural surveys to take place.

This autumn work will begin on a spectacular piece of artwork by artist Simon Watkinson outside The Globe Theatre called Stellar: The Stars Fell on Stockton, the town’s own version of the Hollywood style walk of fame.

Leader of Stockton Council, Councillor Bob Cook, said: “I’m delighted to hear that the detailed plan and appraisal needed to release the remaining £3.5 million HLF funding are progressing so well.

“The Globe is a massive part of Stockton’s history so it is really exciting to see that it will play a prominent part in the town’s future.

“Stockton town centre’s physical regeneration is now reaching its final stages which is transforming the look and feel of the town.”

It is hoped the venue, built in 1935, will eventually attract 82,500 paying customers a year, bringing about £2.5m into the town centre economy. It is expected that the theatre will open in 2016.

The last act to perform there was Status Quo in 1975 before The Globe was turned into a bingo hall, which operated until 1996.

More information is available at stockton.gov.uk/globe

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