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Funding and planning permission secured for Georgian Theatre upgrade

17 February 2016

The redevelopment of a popular music venue in Stockton Town Centre has moved a step closer.

Stockton's Georgian theatre

Exciting plans to expand the Georgian Theatre in Green Dragon Yard have received a boost as the adjoining building, which will form a key part of its expansion, has secured funding.

Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council has allocated £414,000 towards the refurbishment of the former Courtyard Hotel from Stockton's Grants for Heritage Buildings scheme, which is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

The announcement comes as the project to create a fantastic 300 capacity music venue was granted planning permission when the Council's Planning Committee met this afternoon (17 February). 

Music charity, Tees Music Alliance, plans to improve its Georgian Theatre venue in partnership with the Council.

Much-needed bar and toilet space will be created when the works take place to expand the popular venue into the ground and first floors of the adjacent Council owned premises, formerly the Courtyard Hotel.

The redevelopment is expected to start late spring and once complete will allow the venue to increase its audience capacity and opening hours as well as provide a daytime bar and café.

Tees Music Alliance Director, Paul Burns, said: "These are exciting times for Tees Music Alliance - and live music in Stockton-on-Tees.  These two decisions are vital components of our plans to develop our venue into something that will be a huge asset to the area.  Now that they have been made all of the pieces are in place and we can move forward very quickly.

"We're thankful to Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council for getting behind our dreams to see our wonderful venue upgraded so that more people can enjoy what we do."

Leader of Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, Councillor Bob Cook, said: "This is an exciting time for live music in Stockton.  The town centre already has a thriving music and culture scene with both ARC and the Georgian Theatre playing an important role, so the further investment in and expansion of the Georgian Theatre is welcome news.
"I'm sure that the revamped Georgian Theatre will be a huge success and growing its already popular programme is certain to encourage even more people to visit Stockton and spend time and money in nearby bars and restaurants."

The upgraded Georgian Theatre is expected to open its doors next winter.