Stockton Globe Theatre: Council facing £22m revamp bill

The Globe Theatre, Stockton
Image caption The Globe theatre closed in 1997 having been used as a bingo hall since 1977

A council is facing a bill of at least £22m to revamp a listed theatre after initially allocating just £1m.

Work to refurbish Stockton's Globe Theatre began in 2011 with a budget of £4m being shared between Stockton Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

But structural problems pushed the total bill up to an estimated £26.5m, further delaying the planned reopening.

The Grade II-listed, Art Deco theatre closed in 1997 having been used as a bingo hall for the previous 20 years.

It was famed for hosting gigs by The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Buddy Holly,

Image copyright Stockton Council
Image caption Artist's impression of revamped Globe Theatre

The renovation project has been dogged by structural issues, including the discovery of unsupported walls, rotting timbers and a weak roof.

Stockton Council is to consider committing a further £6.5m and delaying the opening until November 2020 at an extraordinary meeting on 27 June, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Image copyright Stockton Council
Image caption Workers discovered problems after "stripping the building back to its bones"

Nigel Cooke, cabinet member for regeneration and transport, said: "This is a full restoration for a building of national significance.

"We've had a number of setbacks, there's no point shying away from that, but even when you factor in the additional costs this is still a fantastic investment that's well worth making.

"It will bring an iconic building back into use as a 3,000 capacity venue. It's expected to bring £18m into the local economy every year.

"And we've got Ambassador Theatre Group, a global leader in live entertainment, signed-up to operate it for 25 years."

The theatre is owned by property firm Jomast, with the council having signed a 40 year-lease in 2016 which includes an option to buy it outright for £200,000 in 2031.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The funding will help transform the theatre into a live music and comedy venue

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites