Theatres set for revamp

NDET 10-7-12 BWJ 2 The Winding Wheel, Chesterfield To Be Refurbished. Staff L-R, Audrey Gadsby, Sarah Hodgson, Janice Hughes, Dave Tann.
NDET 10-7-12 BWJ 2 The Winding Wheel, Chesterfield To Be Refurbished. Staff L-R, Audrey Gadsby, Sarah Hodgson, Janice Hughes, Dave Tann.
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Chesterfield’s theatres are set to undergo major revamps that will bring them bang up to date.

The town’s cultural quarter is going back to its historic roots thanks to a heritage regeneration project.

The Winding Wheel will close on July 15 until September 1 for repairs to the mock Tudor exterior, windows, roof, canopy, ballroom dome and doorways.

Sarah Hodgson of the Winding Wheel, said: “The work is based on an old picture of how it used to look when it was a Picture House.

“We are having the foyer redecorated, the frontage will be redone and we’ll have a new sign.”

The Picture House opened in 1923 and in 1936 it was taken over by Odeon.

It closed in 1981 and lay empty until 1987.

The council purchased the complex, converting it to a multi-purpose function hall and renaming the Grade II listed building, The Winding Wheel.

The Pomegranate Theatre’s makeover is expected to begin in August.

The Victorian 546-seat proscenium arch theatre was established in 1949 and is the country’s oldest civic theatre.

The majority of the improvements will be to the Caretakers House at the rear of the building. Performances and bookings at the theatre will be unaffected by the work.

Work at the Winding Wheel is to cost £73,708 with a grant of £53,617 from the Town Heritage Initiative and match funding from Chesterfield Borough Council. The Pomegranate work costs £16,400 with a grant of £9,338.

Borough councillor Nick Stringer, executive member for leisure, culture and tourism, said: “Chesterfield is just one of a few town centres that still has its own theatre and in our case, two exceptional venues.

“The council is committed to keeping the venues up to a high standard so we’re pleased to be investing in this refurbishment work over the next few weeks and look forward to the results.”