THE construction of a new disabled access lift has begun at The Playhouse in Weston this week.

It is hoped that the larger capacity, fit-for-purpose lift will enable all guests to enjoy a wide variety of performances at the High Street theatre.

Councillor Mike Solomon, North Somerset Council's executive member for culture and leisure, said: “The Playhouse Theatre is one of Weston-super-Mare’s key cultural institutions and it’s fantastic that the new lift will allow all residents and visitors to watch performances.

“Construction works will see the left-hand side of the stairwell temporarily closed off so that a purpose-built platform lift can be installed. When completed, the lift will provide increased capacity for the wheelchair user and a carer if required.

"These important improvements to the buildings’ accessibility will be completed in time for the summer season and I hope they encourage many more people to experience the shows on offer.”

During the construction works, which are expected to take a number of weeks, there will be limited access for some users.

If you feel that this may impact an existing booking you have, you are urged to contact the Box Office on 01934 645544.

Mark Thompson, general manager, said: “The Playhouse is not only Weston’s home of live entertainment, it’s also somewhere the community can call home too - from those who attend the visiting shows as audience members to those who perform in our town’s very talented and various community groups, it’s a place of shared experiences.

“We’re delighted to have found a long term solution to allow greater access with a more reliable and robust solution.

"The plans that have been developed for the new lift will allow greater comfort to users ensuring better access for everyone in the community and those visiting from further afield.

“Everyone deserves to have the opportunity to attend the Playhouse and we’re thankful to North Somerset Council’s support in making this a reality for our audiences.

"Whilst the work is carried out access will remain challenging for a number of weeks but our commitment to ensuring the work is carried out as quickly as possible should hopefully bring comfort to our audiences that better days are ahead.

"This finally brings a long term challenge for the building to a close, making the Playhouse exactly what it should be, open and accessible for everyone to attend”.