THE CHIEF executive of Malvern Theatres has welcomed the district council planning committee’s decision to approve the venue’s £1million extension.
Nic Lloyd said he was delighted the plans for a new entrance onto Grange Road, dedicated rehearsal space and creative learning area had been given the go ahead.
“Malvern Theatres contributes an estimated £20million to the local economy each year and this project will develop its reputation locally and nationally, creating an important new space for the arts in Malvern.
“It will enable the theatre to expand its existing programme of community work, including classes and workshops, as well as creating a much-needed rehearsal space for the venue.”
The project has received substantial pledges of investment from Malvern Hills District Council, Arts Council England, The Kay Trust, The Backstage Trust and The Rowlands Trust.
The proposal for the building, which originally dates back to 1885, had been criticised by some, including The Victorian Society which claimed it would lead to an ‘irreplaceable loss of some important historic features’.
While Malvern Theatres is not itself a listed building, it is in a conservation area with several listed buildings around it including the Priory Church of St Mary and St Michael and the Council House.
Concerns were raised during the planning process over the new look clashing with the traditional appearance of the area.
Councillors voted overwhelmingly in favour of the plans at last Wednesday’s meeting.