Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Kings Theatre Southsea set for £4.8m redevelopment

The Kings Theatre Image copyright Colin Babb
Image caption The Kings Theatre on Albert Road was built by renowned architect Frank Matcham in 1907.

The redevelopment of an Edwardian theatre in Portsmouth is set to go ahead following a £3m loan from the city council.

The Kings Theatre on Albert Road will undergo an expansion which will include new bars, a restaurant and rehearsal space.

Portsmouth City Council confirmed it would lend the theatre £3m to go towards its £4.8m revamp.

The Kings Theatre Trust said it would "secure its long-term future".

Three shops adjacent to the theatre will be demolished to make way for the development of the four-storey building.

The Tower Room on the top floor of the theatre will be made into a function space with a new rooftop bar. Another bar will also be built at the site.

The upgraded facilities are expected to bring in revenue of £250,000 per year for the theatre.

Image copyright Kings Theatre Trust
Image caption The plans include a four-storey building featuring a rehearsal space and new bars.

The 1,600-seat Grade II*-listed theatre was built by renowned architect Frank Matcham in 1907.

It has been managed as a voluntary charitable trust since 2003 by the Kings Theatre Trust.

Chief executive Paul Woolf said the plans would "stay true to the heritage" of the building.

"We will become a serious attraction. In the new space, we will be able to offer so much more to the community," he said.

Portsmouth council is providing a £300,000 grant, along with its £3m loan.

The local authority, which owns the freehold on the building, will also pay £350,000 for urgent repairs.

The council's cabinet member for culture, Steve Pitt, said the funding "supports the cultural regeneration of Portsmouth".

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