Revised £16.5m plans to ‘transform’ Perth Theatre.
Council chief backs changes to Perth Theatre that will create new entrance and restore auditorium to its former glory
Alterations to radical multi-millionpound plans to transform Perth Theatre have been recommended for approval by a council chief.
Nick Brian, Perth and Kinross Council’s development quality manager, has compiled a document that will go before councillors next week in which he outlines the reasons for backing the £16.5 million restoration of the 115-yearold listed building.
The theatre is currently closed due to renovation work and its overall makeover has already received the local authority’s blessing.
However, Horsecross Arts – the body behind Perth Theatre and Perth Concert Hall – has now lodged alterations and extension proposals which would reduce the floor area of the new-build and increase the existing section of the building that is retained or remodelled.
In addition, the new section of the building facing Mill Street that creates a new entrance is set to be repositioned further back to allow a larger public realm area at the front.
The altered plans will not affect work relating to the existing listed theatre, which was previously approved by the council.
Horsecross intends to restore the main theatre auditorium to its former glory and build a new 200-capacity studio theatre that is being designed for more intimate theatre shows, live music and comedy events.
The transformation will also result in more workshop space for learning and community projects.
Gwilym Gibbons, chief executive of Horsecross Arts, has stated that he feels the revamped venue will “transform Perth Theatre into a 21st Century space of which Perth can be proud.”
Mr Brian’s report claims the development will have a positive economic impact on the city. It states: “The application for alterations, extension and formation of a new entrance to Perth Theatre will provide essential new and upgraded facilities while conserving the historic auditorium.
“This will allow the theatre to keep pace with the public’s expectations and the needs of performers and producers.
“The extended facilities will enable the theatre to reach out to wider audiences and provide a broader range of performance and events, including community-based work and educational activities.
“Overall, the planning authority acknowledges the benefits of the scheme, namely, improved facilities, improved access arrangements for the public, continued use of listed building for its original function as well as enhanced streetscape on Mill Street.”
Vision: an artist’s impressions of how the renovated theatre could look.
Gwilym Gibbons said the new-look theatre will be a “21st Century space”.