First look at Stowmarket's Regal ahead of £3.6million revamp
PUBLISHED: 17:36 03 February 2020 | UPDATED: 17:36 03 February 2020
The first designs of Stowmarket's new Regal theatre have been revealed, with work to begin on the multi-million pound regeneration within weeks.
The works, funded by the town and district councils, include three new cinema screens, new seating, a new café and bar, sound and video improvements and an upgrade to the adjacent car park.
The Regal will also be running weekly film screenings from the spring, hosted at the John Peel Centre.
The Regal theatre manager David Marsh, said: "This is an exciting step for us at The Regal and for the town.
"We recognise that we need to modernise our leisure facilities to match customers' expectations and growing visitor numbers, over the coming years and work towards making Stowmarket a cultural and creative hub in Suffolk in the long term.
"We'll still be running films while the building is closed during construction - taking the "Regal on the road" from the beginning of April, with showings every week at the John Peel Centre."
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The Regal is a focal point of the town's leisure activities with annual admissions rising from 10,000 to 70,000 in the last 10 years.
Stowmarket Town Council have provided £1.04m and Mid Suffolk District Council providing a further £2.56m.
Stowmarket town mayor Paul Ekpenyong said: "The £3.6 million refurbishment of The Regal is a flagship project for our town, with work due to commence at the start of March with completion anticipated by the end of the year.
"It's great the project is backed by our local community, and I know we are all eagerly looking forward to seeing the new-look Regal open its doors later this year."
Jane Cox, strategic manager at The John Peel Centre, said: "The JPC is delighted to be working with Stowmarket Town Council to enable The Regal to continue its service to the local community during its renovation."
The regeneration is part of a broader effort to develop Stowmarket's day and night-time economies, pushing the town to become a creative, cultural hub in the east of England.
Mid Suffolk District Council's cabinet member for economy, Gerard Brewster, said: "We're delighted to be supporting this project and believe that the redevelopment of The Regal Theatre will help to support the regeneration of one of our key towns in the district.
"Working corroboratively is at the heart of our vision for Stowmarket and our Regal on the Road initiative provides a wonderful opportunity to do just that by showcasing our other fantastic venues in the town."