Patrons Will Be Able To Sit Back And Relax After A Six Figure Refit At Wolverhampton Grand

Theatre bosses have announced they willalso replace the seating in the auditorium as part of a refurbishment costing over £1 million.

The venue is currently undergoing a major refurbishment, which will see the theatre completely transformed over six weeks with a grand re-opening in the autumn. It has been announced this week that seating in the 1,200 capacity Victorian auditorium will be fully replaced - bringing the total cost for the refurbishment to £1.1million. 

As part of the Capital Replacement programme, seating will be replaced across all three levels of the auditorium having been used by over 2 million visitors since they were installed. The design of the 121-year-old auditorium will remain untouched. The last major work in the auditorium was during the summer of 2014 and saw 24 carat gold leaf rendering of the plasterwork around the chandelier.

The new seating has been selected with close consultation with the City Of Wolverhampton Council who own the building, which is leased to the theatre as a charitable company. The new soft-closing seats will reduce noise levels in the auditorium and improve comfort throughout the stalls, dress circle and grand circle. The seats will also include sponsorship plaques enabling theatregoers and businesses to become ‘part of the fabric’ of the Grand Theatre – supporting ongoing outreach. Chief Executive, Adrian Jackson, said:

“The Grand is a significant part of city centre life within Wolverhampton. Adding the replacement of the auditorium seating to the grand scheme will be the ‘icing on the cake’. The level of comfort of the new seats, together with the revised layouts will greatly improve accessibility and comfort for our audience".

It is hoped that the entire refurbishment will increase footfall as the Grand Theatre becomes more of a destination within the city. The extended use of the refurbished building and the increased commercial and charitable activity will not only prompt the safeguarding and expansion of the workforce but also increase the opportunities for learning and community engagement outside of performance times.

The current public opening hours of the theatre are only during performance times and the theatre operates little commercial activity within the building outside of these times. This additional investment will allow the theatre to operate in a completely different way, resulting in front line activity taking place at all times of the day and in some cases, seven days per week.

The new bars and foyers along with the new seating will be experienced for the first time by a re-opening night audience on Saturday 10 September. A Gala Concert will signal the relaunch featuring the internationally acclaimed City Concert Orchestra and conducted by the Theatre’s Chief Executive Adrian Jackson and presented by Angela Rippon. 


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