Theatre revamp approved

PUBLISHED: 18:00 19 January 2010 | UPDATED: 11:36 25 May 2010

A SCALED-DOWN refurbishment of an ailing town theatre has finally been agreed – more than a year after a £1.1million plan for the same building was shelved.

A SCALED-DOWN refurbishment of an ailing town theatre has finally been agreed - more than a year after a £1.1million plan for the same building was shelved.

The £200,000 revamp of the Blakehay could now start in May after it was ratified by town councillors on Monday night.

Bids to carry out the badly-needed work to the Wadham Street building are now begin sought from Weston builders.

The scheme will see a makeover of the foyer, new toilets, a refurbished café bar, better storage facilities and an arts studio, while ventilation and drainage will also be improved.

Theatre managers hope the improvements will lead to more groups using the building to reduce the annual loss of more than £100,000.

The vote in favour of the new scheme came almost a year after a £1.1million scheme was dropped due to the recession.

Council leader Andrew Horler said it was important that the current users, which include Weston College, the Royal Air Force Association Band and Weston Youth Orchestra, had been consulted on the plans.

He added: "Without the people who use it, the Blakehay is a lifeless building.

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