The keys to the Hall for Cornwall are being formally handed over to the contractor for the project, Kier Group, as the construction phase of the project starts on site.
The refurbishment and remodelling of the Grade II* listed theatre will increase its audience capacity, conserve and restore its important heritage elements and bring them into better use. The new, three-tiered theatre space will enable the organisation to deliver their artistic vision and provide a new dynamic relationship between performer and audience. Improved access to Arts and Culture for the community of Cornwall will result, together with the facilities required to support a sustainable business model for the organisation.
The new auditorium, with 1,262 seats and 83 standing positions, will be seen as an open space sitting within the granite box of the original marketplace walls. The back façade of the City Hall and the Back Quay building will be visible from within the theatre space. The auditorium design has open edges allowing views through and across the space. In the daytime, and during set up, these views will allow glimpses into the theatre world. For comedy nights and rock and pop gigs the openness and standing positions will create a lively atmosphere. For drama and classical music the shutters come down and the auditorium can be absolutely focussed on the performance.
A flexible proscenium will allow the right masking for a range of performances from orchestra to stand-up comedy. Gentle ramps across the site, combined with lifts, will provide universal access into the theatre, whilst better seating will be provided for all members of the audience, including thirteen wheelchair spaces with a variety of positions within the auditorium. Improved dressing room facilities, and proper facilities for performers with disabilities, will be provided for the first time. In the Boscawen Entrance the wonderful, arcaded market place designed by Christopher Eales will be restored and form a new foyer for the theatre. A café restaurant will be created that will be open throughout the day and provide a unique offer in Truro for both the local community and visitors.
Councillor Egerton commenting on the redevelopment said “As a partner, Cornwall Council is working with the team at Hall for Cornwall to realise the exciting vision for its refurbishment which, once reopened, will act as a great economic boost for our growing city. Having a world class cultural building at the heart of Truro offers us a great chance to achieve our growth aspirations in a way that respects local distinctiveness and provides a fantastic resource for the whole of Cornwall.”