Telford & Wrekin Council is embarking on an exciting journey as it unveils its ambitious plans to revitalise Telford Theatre. Made possible by a triumphant £15.5 million bid to the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund, a move set to breathe new life into the heart of Oakengates.
The impending transformation of Telford Theatre marks a pivotal moment in the council's commitment to creating a modern cultural hub within Oakengates that will inspire creativity, engage communities, and boost the local economy.
The project will enable us to build a brand new auditorium, whilst retaining some of the newer parts of the existing building. This will ensure there is a modern theatre in Oakengates for many years to come. The project will also create a dynamic secondary studio theatre, upgraded front-of-house amenities, a creative community art room, modernised backstage facilities, and eco-friendly technology that will offset building emissions.
Councillor Shaun Davies (Lab) Leader of Telford & Wrekin Council expressed his excitement about the transformative project: "This is a defining moment for our community. The remodelling of Telford Theatre underscores our commitment to nurturing the arts, cultivating talent, and revitalising our vibrant town.”
Councillor Carolyn Healy, Telford & Wrekin Council Cabinet Member for Climate Action, Green Spaces, Heritage & Leisure, added, “Our vision goes beyond construction. Telford Theatre’s transformation will serve as a catalyst for both social and economic growth, offering diverse cultural experiences that will resonate with our residents.”
Councillor Lee Carter, Telford & Wrekin Council Cabinet Member for Place (The Economy & Neighbourhood Services), emphasised the broader impact: “Beyond its artistic significance, this remodelling will radiate throughout the Theatre Quarter, High Street and Limes Walk, enticing visitors, boosting local businesses, and enhancing our community’s quality of life.”
Graham Wynn, Chair of Telford Towns Fund Board said, "The vision extends to Oakengates Theatre Quarter, and the project fits perfectly with Telford's Towns Fund Theatre Square and Limes Walk regeneration efforts which will start on site this month. This creates a complete approach to revitalising the town centre, which will turn Oakengates into an inviting and vibrant visitor destination."
Consultation with Oakengates businesses affected by the project has already begun. Recognising the potential effect on local businesses, the council is committed to providing bespoke support to all stakeholders affected.
Telford Theatre is scheduled to close in spring 2024 and reopen in autumn 2026. Plans are underway to relocate shows to a temporary venue, which will host a programme of events during the works.
For further information, visit https://www.telfordtownsfund.co.uk/info/18/levelling-up-fund