WORK to revamp Warrington's Pyramid Arts Centre will get under way this month.

The centre is being redeveloped thanks to a £4.9million grant from the Government.

It will see a new cafe added and an increased capacity created in one of the halls in the Grade II listed building which was formerly a magistrates' court.

The building will close at the end of this month for the work to take place. It is expected it will take more than a year for it to be complete.

Pyramid is run by the arts charity Culture Warrington and owned by Warrington Borough Council.

The multi-purpose cultural venue’s two main event spaces – Studio Theatre and Exhibition Hall – will be the focal point of the substantial improvements.

A new café and bar area will be created in the Studio Theatre thanks to an entirely new layout while the Exhibition Hall will become a bigger capacity venue, for up to 380 people, to open it up to different shows and make it more attractive to up-and-coming bands and performers.

There will also be a new box office, an improved dedicated gallery space for exhibitions, upgraded toilet and changing facilities, accessibility enhancements and improved internal and external signage.

Additionally, an upgraded power supply to the building and acoustic improvements to help reduce sound bleed between spaces will allow productions to run simultaneously at Pyramid.

Chris Persoglio, executive director of Culture Warrington, said: “This long-awaited, exciting development will truly take Pyramid to the next level.

“Our beloved arts centre already welcomes people from all sections of the community for high-quality performances, rehearsals, exhibitions, workshops, classes, conferences and meetings.

“But this project will make Pyramid much more fit-for-purpose and help to drive cultural growth in Warrington. This will lead to a more diverse programme of performances which could be anything from a homegrown band or artist to nationally or internationally renowned touring work.”

Maureen Banner, chair of Culture Warrington, added: “This project will bring new and bigger audiences to Warrington and make Pyramid more sustainable.

“Our vision is to make Pyramid a hub for developing talent in the area. This next phase in Pyramid’s development will help us inspire and upskill young people and future professionals in a wide range of roles within the creative industries.

“In essence, this multi-million pound project will make Pyramid even more of an asset to the Cultural Quarter where people from all over Warrington and beyond will come to connect and collaborate, or enjoy some of the region’s best shows.”

The Palmyra Square building will be closed for the works from the end of July 2024 and will reopen in late 2025.

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Pyramid’s Box Office, performances and other services will continue to run from a temporary ‘pop-up’ town centre venue with full information to be shared in the coming weeks.

Warrington received a total of £22.1million from the Towns Fund, of which Pyramid received a total of £4.9million.

Cllr Tony Higgins, Warrington Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for communities, culture and leisure, said: "It’s great news that this exciting project is getting under way. Pyramid Arts Centre is a cornerstone of our cultural scene, and this investment will transform the facility, ensuring it continues to serve people – from Warrington and beyond – as a vibrant arts hub for generations to come.

“The renovations will create a first-class, flexible space with greater capacity, which will enable us to cater to a wider range of artistic disciplines and events and host more diverse and ambitious performances, exhibitions, and workshops.

“Crucially, the project has been designed to protect this beautiful Grade II listed building, striking a perfect balance between preserving Pyramid's rich heritage and creating a modern, accessible space that will inspire future generations of artists and art lovers.

“This project is a major boost for Warrington's cultural landscape, and I can't wait to see the doors open to the public once more."

Once Pyramid Arts Centre closes to the public at the end of July, the car park will continue to be accessible and operate as normal until approximately mid-September.