A £4.1m plan to redevelop York Theatre Royal will sustain the future of England's longest running theatre outside London for the next 60 years, bosses say.

The theatre, in St Leonard's Place, York, will close for eight months from March 17 next year for work to expand the foyer, create a new cafe and restaurant, revamp the auditorium and improve access.

The stalls will be moved to improve views, while the formerly raked stage will be flattened to help ballet companies and theatre technicians.

A temporary 1,000-seat theatre will be created at the National Railway Museum during the works, which are being part-funded by Arts Council England.

A Theatre Royal spokewoman said: “A theatre has been operating on this site since 1744.

"It's still a thriving venue, hugely loved by the people of York and the surrounding area and integral to the healthy cultural life of this city.

"This investment allows us to take the next step in securing our future and ensuring we continue to provide the very best theatrical experiences for the next generation."