Telford Theatre to close for two years in expansion plan

A Shropshire theatre will close for more than two years so it can be remodelled and expanded using £15.5m of levelling up funding.

Telford Theatre is nearly 60 years old and in need of significant maintenance, the local council said.

The building will close in spring 2024 and is set to reopen in October 2026 with a temporary site planned to host shows in the meantime.

A new auditorium will be built to seat 750 people under the plans.

A new secondary studio will have 98 seats which will increase the overall capacity of the theatre by 210 seats, the authority said.

Other parts of the scheme include a new creative community art room and the introduction of air source heat pumps to heat the building.

The scheme is part of a planned Theatre Quarter for the Oakengates area but in October, some firms in the area said they feared they faced ruin from the plans.

The overall project would involve knocking down several shops and owners told the BBC they were not offered enough compensation and had uncertain futures.

The council said consultations with affected businesses was underway and it was committed to giving them "bespoke support".

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