The exciting restoration of Stockton’s Globe Theatre will take a step forward next week.
On Monday (27 June) the modern wall tiles and supporting false ground floor wall at the front of the Grade II art deco building will be removed to reveal the original wall.
It will then be examined and surveyed to inform the architectural approach to the restoration.
Leader of Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, Councillor Bob Cook, said: “I am delighted that we can now see visible progress under way at the Globe. The age and condition of the building causes this to be an extremely complex project and a huge amount of preparatory work is required before the restoration can begin but this exploratory stage is a vital part of that.
“There has already been a great deal going on behind the scenes to clear the inside of the building and ensure it is safe and secure to allow preparatory work like this can take place.
“This is the first of many visible works people in Stockton Town Centre will notice at the Globe over the coming months and a clear sign that momentum is building.
“There is no doubt that the creation of a 2,500 capacity live music and comedy venue at the heart of Stockton Town Centre will have a transformational impact on the High Street particularly as it means the town will be able to attract the kind of big name acts that will draw visitors from far and wide.
“We are already seeing early signs of this. Work has started at the former Manhattans site to create a boutique hotel with a bar-bistro, the Lambton Castle has been refurbished to a really high standard, the expansion of the Georgian Theatre began last month, we are seeing new micro-pubs and cocktail bars planned and a proposal for a Hilton Hotel was also recently announced.
“We should not under estimate the huge impact the Globe will have in terms of further boosting the town’s reputation as a bustling and vibrant hub for live music and entertainment and increasing the amount of money which is spent in the town’s shops, eateries and businesses.”
The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has earmarked nearly £4 million from the Heritage Enterprise programme to transform the venue and initially released £401,600 to support the development phase of the project.
In March 2016 the Council’s Cabinet allocated £2.1 million towards the iconic building and agreed that the local authority should take over the role of lead partner for the restoration project from the building’s owner, Jomast following discussions with the HLF which concluded that the scheme is likely to move forward more quickly by adopting a development model led by the Council.
The on-going preparatory and exploratory works will inform plans for the interior of the Globe which the Council will submit to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) as part of the Round 2 bid next year.
Subject to HLF approval the remaining £3.5million will be released so the restoration can start next summer and the Globe is expected to be ready to open in winter 2018.