Renovations begin at historic Eastbourne theatre

Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne
Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne

Work has begun to restore the outside of the Grade II Listed Devonshire Park Theatre.

The renovations to the Victorian building are being carried out as part of a £40million redevelopment scheme to transform the Devonshire Park complex.

Repairs will be made to rendering, stonework, the roof, window, doors and, where necessary, the structure.

Once complete, the whole exterior will be redecorated and the often cramped foyer and box office area will be redesigned.

Also in the pipeline is an entrance for wheelchair users as at present, disabled people have to use a service road to get in to the theatre at the side.

Renovations have been scheduled so that no work will take place while events and performances are being staged at the theatre, ensuring business as usual for theatre goers. In addition, there will be no work or deliveries in the Access Road area during the Aegon tennis tournament from June 20 to 27.

The project is expected to take about 14 weeks.

There are also plans to enhance the theatre’s interior and provide greater accessibility.

Leader of Eastbourne Borough Council David Tutt said, “This work will greatly improve the experience for theatre goers which is a key part of our exciting plans for Devonshire Park.

“We will also be making major improvements to the international tennis facilities and providing first class conference venues to create new income streams and make the town even more appealing to both residents and visitors.”

Tony Freebody, newly elected leader of the Conservative opposition, said, “I am delighted the Devonshire Park Theatre is getting a much needed makeover, the fact that there will be no impact on planned events and performances at the theatre is an added bonus. This is just part of a wider plan that will have a positive impact on our town for residents and visitors alike.”

The works are being carried out by Triton, the contractors for the successful renovation of the exterior of the Congress Theatre – the initial phase of the Devonshire Park masterplan.

Once work is completed on the Devonshire Park Theatre, internal refurbishment of the Congress will get underway and then the Winter Garden.

Those buildings are expected to be in darkness for around six months while work is carried out with events taking place at the Devonshire Park Theatre instead.

The Devonshire Park Theatre is a Grade II listed Victorian theatre built in 1884.

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