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Community theatre to be upgraded

Posted onPosted on 8th Jan

Sutton Community Academy’s theatre is to be renovated and reconfigured to create a new multi-functional community space.

Ashfield District Council secured funding to upgrade the theatre, which will be rebranded and opened to the public as Cornerstone Theatre, as part of the £6.27m Future High Streets Fund.

It said the new theatre would allow residents and visitors to watch professional theatre, cinematic experiences, music and comedy nights, as well as other community uses.

New dressing rooms and a green room, toilets, foyer and box office will be created. The auditorium will be refurbished with new flooring, ceiling, acoustic wall treatments, and doors. A retractable seating system will provide around 200 seats.

Council leader Coun Jason Zadrozny said: “We are pleased to release details of the last of our Future High Streets Fund projects.

“So far we have delivered the renovation of the former Yorkshire Bank in Sutton, the old DWP building on High Pavement, and we are currently transforming another long-vacant unit on Low Street.

“The Cornerstone Theatre project is the cherry on the cake; it will allow more residents to access quality cultural events and productions, without having to leave Ashfield.”

Work is expected to start in the summer, with a finish date of early 2025.

Coun Matthew Relf, executive lead for Growth, Regeneration, and Local Planning, added: “This project will help us achieve our goals of creating a vibrant and safe night-time economy in Ashfield.

“As the new planetarium (at Sherwood Observatory) will connect young people to space and raise aspirations, Cornerstone Theatre will ignite their creativity and broaden minds.

Simon Martin, vice-principal at Academy Transformation Trust Further Education, said: “Sutton and the surrounding area has long needed investment in, and opportunities for, cultural experiences of all sorts.”