Lancaster theatre to reveal ‘stunning’ new revamp

The Grand Theatre, Lancaster.

The Grand Theatre, Lancaster.

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A leading light at the Lancaster Grand says a new blueprint for the 230-year-old theatre will fit nicely alongside a planned major overhaul of the city centre.

Mike Hardy, chairman of the Grand’s owners the Lancaster Footlights, was speaking as councillors prepared to meet for top secret talks on the planned Canal Corridor North development.

Mr Hardy said new designs were being drawn up for the Grand that were even better than drawings they revealed last October.

Back then the Grand launched a £1m campaign to transform the theatre with a glass-fronted two-storey foyer to the side of the theatre with a new box office, bar, exhibition and performance space.

But Mr Hardy said: “The architect has now come up with a far more interesting building.

“When people see it they will go ‘wow’. It looks absolutely 
stunning.”

Mr Hardy said the new drawings will be made public shortly and fundraising will continue.

Meanwhile the latest idea for the Canal Corridor North revamp of the St Leonardgate and Moor Lane area is due to be discussed by Lancaster City Council tonight.

The Canal Corridor North report at tonight’s meeting is ‘exempt’ to the public under the Local Government Act because it may contain sensitive financial or business information. The plans may be revealed at a later date.

Mr Hardy said that while he had not yet seen the new British Land proposals, he had spoken to the London-based developers and he was “optimistic”.

“As I understand it, what we want to do for the theatre will fit in very well,” he said.

British Land said in 2015 that they had scrapped original plans to centre their development around a major supermarket and instead wanted to create a smaller number of shops and a large food and drink quarter of cafes and restaurants.

But it is not yet clear exactly what their new plans contain although Eileen Blamire, council leader, said they include ‘many changes’ from the previous scheme.