Local News

Theatre redevelopment delayed

Wednesday 22 December 2021

Redevelopment of Hertford Theate has been delayed after East Herts Council were unable to find a contractor to carry out the work.

The £20m project is due to deliver three cinema screens, a brand new studio auditorium, a plaza-style foyer with riverside café-bar and increased main auditorium space for larger productions.

A tender for the contract to carry out the works was published in May and the theatre closed on Monday 7th June 2021. Work was scheduled to begin later in the Summer or Autumn. However, the council was unable to attract a sufficient number of competitive tenders to make an award.

A further tender was advertised on 21st October with a deadline of 5th November for submissions.

Cllr Eric Buckmaster, Executive Member for Wellbeing at East Herts Council said: "Hertford Theatre has been closed and work undertaken by specialist contractors to remove asbestos and prepare the site for construction works in recent months.  

"Relationships with consultants remain productive but the current financial climate, and supply chain issues being experienced in the construction sector, have meant the process of sourcing a contractor is taking longer than expected.  

"The main works are currently out to tender and subject to tender returns which are expected in the New Year.  Works are scheduled to start in Spring 2022 and we are working toward an opening in late 2023.  

"In the meantime we are doing everything possible to ensure a varied mix of arts and culture at venues nearby and our teams from Hertford Theatre have been working hard to help transform Southern Maltings into a magical and mystical frozen land for the production of 'Under The Frozen Moon' which opened last week."

The new theatre is expected to open in late 2023

The redevelopment of Hertford Theatre is being funded by a Government loan which will be repaid in full over a 30 year period. The scheme is expected to make the theatre economically self-sufficient and is supported by a business case developed by independent business planners and cost consultants.

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