Plans to improve the facilities and visitor experience at the Victoria Theatre in Halifax are moving forward, with planning approval granted and a contractor for the works due to be appointed this autumn.
The Victoria Theatre is an impressive Grade II listed building in Halifax town centre, and one of the top events venues in the region. Funding from the Government’s Future High Streets Fund is set to enhance the experience for those visiting and ensure that more people can enjoy all that the theatre has to offer.
Plans for the theatre include a new box office on Commercial Street, with independent opening hours. The current box office and part of the foyer area would become a new café/bar which will provide new food and drink opportunities and could hold small performances.
Access improvements are also included in plans, with a new lift taking visitors to the Green Room Bar for the first time in the venue’s history and two new accessible toilets being installed. This would vastly improve the visitor experience for those with access requirements.
Planning approval, including listed building consent, for the project was granted earlier this year and now the process of appointing a contractor to carry out the works is underway. Following this appointment, it’s estimated that work will start in mid-October.
Throughout the works, the theatre will be open as normal, with performances unaffected. However, the building will look different while the work is taking place and some facilities may be temporarily disrupted.
The work will be complete by summer 2024, in time for celebrations for the borough’s Year of Culture, with the theatre due to play a key part in the planned major events programme recognising the importance of culture to the local economy and communities.
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Towns, Tourism and Voluntary Sector, Cllr Sarah Courtney, said:
“Revitalising the stunning Victoria Theatre is a key part of the £11.7 million Future High Streets work. This is an exciting time for Halifax, with the fund also supporting other projects in the town, including contributions to completed works at Northgate House, ongoing improvements at Halifax Borough Market and the planned creation of new welcoming spaces and better connections between existing attractions around the town.
“The Future High Street projects also complement further works in Halifax, including the new bus station and other improvements to the transport network. The wider plans ensure that the town continues to be a thriving place for people to live, work and visit, with good connections and improved access to our wonderful attractions.”
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Services and Communities, Cllr Jenny Lynn, said:
“The Victoria Theatre has proudly stood in Halifax for over 120 years, delighting its audiences and over its long history hosting some of the biggest names in entertainment.
“The planned works, using Future High Streets funding, will support improvements to transform the foyer and box office area, creating new and improved facilities, including enhanced accessibility and new food and drink options.
“The works have been carefully designed to ensure that we retain the wonderful heritage features of the iconic Grade II listed building. The fantastic programme of events planned at the theatre during the works will go ahead as normal and work will be complete for celebrations as part of the planned Year of Culture in Calderdale in 2024.”
To find out more about the planned works at the Victoria Theatre, https://calderdalenextchapter.co.uk/projects/victoria-theatre-halifax-future-high-streets(external link) or for more information about the Halifax Future High Streets Fund works, visit Halifax Future High Streets | Calderdale Next Chapter(external link)
Supporting strong and resilient, thriving towns is a priority for the Council and contributes to the Vision 2024 for the borough. In the year 2024, Calderdale will celebrate its 50th birthday. Where do we want to be by 2024? Join the conversation by following #VisionCdale2024 on social media and visit www.calderdale.gov.uk/vision
Calderdale’s culture and heritage is a key part of its distinctiveness, and in 2024 the borough will host its own Year of Culture. In the build up to this major events programme, the CultureDale brand continues the development of the borough’s growing profile as a vibrant cultural destination. Find out more at https://culturedale.co.uk/(external link) or @CultureDale2024 on social media. You can also use #CultureDale on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok to help promote culture in Calderdale.
For more information about other investment projects around the borough, visit www.calderdalenextchapter.co.uk(external link)