Chesterfield’s Pomegranate Theatre set to close ahead of £17.5m refurbishment of Stephenson Memorial Hall

The Pomegranate Theatre is set to temporarily close its doors this week in preparation for a multi-million-pound renovation project.

Monday, 20th June 2022, 5:03 pm
Updated Monday, 20th June 2022, 5:03 pm

The theatre will close on Sunday, June 26 before planned refurbishment works start on Stephenson Memorial Hall.

Ian Waller, service director at Chesterfield Borough Council, said: “Stephenson Memorial Hall is a landmark in our town and our ambitious plans are set to make it even more memorable and enjoyable – creating a modern visitor experience in the heart of our town.

“Colleagues have been working to carefully move all of the treasured items from the Museum into secure storage. Now this is nearing completion, we are now in a position to close the Pomegranate Theatre and move many of our shows into the Winding Wheel while the transformation of the building is carried out.”

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An artist’s impression of the revamped Stephenson Memorial Hall.

Residents and visitors to the borough will still be able to enjoy a trip to the theatre as lots of popular shows will be moving across to the Winding Wheel during the refurbishment, including the annual pantomime.

Under the plans, the refurbished Stephenson Memorial Hall will bring together an extended Pomegranate Theatre, a reconfigured and modern museum, alongside a new gallery space, café bar and community facilities.

The work will also protect the Grade 2 listed building and ensure that it remains part of the borough’s heritage.

Creating a more accessible experience is another key aim of the proposals. The plans include three new lifts which will enable visitors, staff and artists with mobility difficulties to access all parts of the building – including the circle seating area and upper museum floors. Also included in the plans are improvements to lighting, heating, and ventilation.

The scheme is projected to cost around £17.5m, with £11m of funding being secured through the Government’s Levelling Up Fund.

The project received a further funding boost with £695,000 from Arts Council England’s Capital Investment Programme, which will be used to install a ventilation system in the Pomegranate Theatre auditorium and create a new Changing Places toilet.

A series of community-led events have been arranged ahead of the temporary closure. These performances include local ladies choir, the Honey Belles, on Saturday June 25, and Peter Pan by The Heights Ballet and Theatre School on Sunday, June 26.