“All-star cast” for new theatre concept design.

Upton’s Conservative Councillors, Hilarie McNae and Jill Houlbrook, have welcomed the announcement that the new theatre concept in Chester will be put together by world-class designers.

Cllr Hilarie McNae

Hilarie commented: “The theatre has been a huge issue for Upton residents and we are now looking forward to the concept becoming a reality.”

Jill added: “This is yet another Conservative initiative that will add to Chester’s status as a must see City.”

The award-winning team behind the transformation of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s world-famous home at Stratford-upon-Avon is to provide the concept design of Chester’s new theatre.

Council chiefs today (Wednesday) raised the curtain on a star cast assembled to produce a guiding vision for the Borough’s £38m showpiece.

Cllr Jill Houlbrook

Bennetts Associates Architects – one of the UK’s leading architectural practices – will work on the concept design, supported by specialist theatre consultants Charcoalblue and multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy Buro Happold.

All three worked on the transformation of the Grade II* listed Royal Shakespeare Theatre – a sensitive, multi-award winning project incorporating the most significant remains and character of the earlier theatres on site with revolutionary theatre design techniques.

They join international specialist project managers, Buro Four, which also worked on the renowned redevelopment of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and have an extensive track record in the arts and heritage fields.

Said Cheshire West and Chester Council Leader Mike Jones: “I’m delighted. I believe we have secured an unrivalled blend of expertise and flair- talent that will produce a state-of-the art theatre vital to our aspirations as an international visitor centre.”

The concept team will contribute to the Council’s bid for £5m, due to go to the Arts Council when the next funding window opens, probably within the next two months.

If it is decided to incorporate a new central library within the one acre site, details of the schemes will be included as part of the bid.


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