(L-R) Kay Lascelles-Smith, locality delivery manager at Durham County Council, and Elizabeth Scott, cabinet member for economy and partnerships
Chloe Shakesby

County Durham theatres lift curtains on more than £1m of refurbishments

Two North East theatres have announced that they are reopening after completing a combined £1.4m of refurbishments.

Gala Theatre, in Durham, and the Empire Theatre, in Consett, have announced that refurbishment works have completed on the two sites.

The Gala Theatre has undergone £600k of refurbishments, including being fitted with new flooring and seating in the auditorium,a new-look box office, display screens, signage and furniture.

Meanwhile, the Empire Theatre saw £823k of refurbishments over the past year, with upgrades to the auditorium, toilets, and front of house area, as well as a new stage and technical equipment.

Elizabeth Scott, Durham County Council’s cabinet member for economy and partnerships, commented: “We’re delighted to have our two main theatres open once again and with it be able to welcome visitors with a brand-new look.

“Reopening our theatres is a key part of our commitment to cultural-led regeneration.

“Creative industries contributed more than £116bn to the UK economy in 2019, and the arts are set to play a crucial role in the county’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

“By welcoming visitors back to the Gala and Empire theatres, we can help support the recovery of local businesses, especially the hospitality and retail sector, which have been hit hard by the pandemic.”

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