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Planning application for Worcester’s new arts venue submitted

Artist's impression of the new arts centre exterior. Image courtesy of Burrell Foley Fischer Artist's impression of the new arts centre exterior. Image courtesy of Burrell Foley Fischer

The planning application for an exciting new arts venue in the heart of Worcester city centre has been submitted for approval and is available for comment on the Worcester City Council website.

The ambitious proposals would transform the Angel Place area, attracting world-class arts, music, and comedy acts to Worcester, as well as giving a much-needed boost to local businesses.

If the submission is approved, the eagerly anticipated arts centre will revive the historic Scala Theatre, Worcester's original 1920s cinema.

The spectacular renovation has been designed by architects Burrell Foley Fischer, who also designed the Hall for Cornwall, as well as the Crucible in Sheffield, among several other award-winning venues.

Mayor of Worcester, Councillor Adrian Gregson, said: "The proposed plans for a new arts centre for Worcester have now been submitted for approval. The suggested plans would see the revival of the city's stunning 1920s cinema, with the aim of bringing back to life a beautiful listed building and transforming the cultural offering of the city, attracting many thousands of new visitors to boost our economy. I would encourage everyone to take a look at the plans and have their say as part of the planning consultation that is now underway."

Sarah-Jane Morgan, Chief Executive Officer at Worcester Theatres, said: "This is an exciting step forward for Worcester and for Worcester Theatres. Adding a new venue to our already-popular portfolio will enable us to attract new, diverse artists, acts and theatre companies to Worcester. We support Worcester City Council in their ambition to put culture at the centre of the FHSF redevelopment and we hope our audiences will be active in supporting the plans."

The arts centre proposals are part of the Government's Future High Streets Fund (FHSF), which includes £3.5million worth of public realm improvements to Worcester City Centre, many of which are already being enjoyed by residents.

Funding for the proposed Scala development has been awarded through the FHSF programme. The Council has submitted a request to reallocate additional funding to the Scala project and is awaiting government approval, which is expected imminently. The Council continues to explore additional funding opportunities for future phases of development.

The Swan Theatre will continue to operate for community theatre groups for the foreseeable future, with relevant user groups having suggested several design ideas for the Scala that were adopted by the architects.

View and comment on the planning application.

See the public exhibition of the Scala plans.

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