Revamp of Chesterfield's Winding Wheel to start next week
Chesterfield's historic Winding Wheel is set to undergo a revamp.
Work costing £745,000 will start on Monday to breathe new life into the showpiece venue on Holywell Street.
One of the key improvements will see the foyer extended into the former opticians shop next door to create a new café bar area which will incorporate an information and ticket collection point. The café bar will be open before and after shows, during intervals and for conferences or other events taking place at the venue.
Signage outside the building will also be changed from 'the Winding Wheel' to 'Winding Wheel Theatre'.
The rest of the project will see toilets in the building refurbished and the auditorium and ballroom redecorated, ahead of the venue reopening in September.
The Grade II-listed Winding Wheel, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, is owned and managed by Chesterfield Borough Council.
Councillor Steve Brunt, the council’s cabinet member for town centres and visitor economy, said: "We are very proud of the Winding Wheel and the fantastic variety of shows on offer there.
"These improvements will provide better facilities for customers before, during and after shows and for people attending conferences and other functions at the venue."
The latest work - which is mostly being paid for using money from the existing Theatres Restoration Fund reserve - complements an extensive refurbishment in 2014 which included a new, larger, stage to attract bigger productions, improvements to the power supply and new lighting.
Originally built as a cinema, the Winding Wheel was bought by the council and opened as a theatre, conference venue and exhibition space in 1987.
The venue has played host to prestigious shows including the West End productions of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Dreamboats and Petticoats and Blood Brothers, which returns this November.
Last year, the Winding Wheel held 149 performances attracting nearly 40,000 ticketed attendances.