Building Our New Home

The Time For Ambition

On 2 June 2018, we closed our theatre to embark on the biggest capital transformation in our history, so we can open up the  power of performance to more people than ever and allow the next generation to flourish. Our ambitious and much-needed redevelopment of our theatre, seeks to safeguard the heritage of the building and transform it into a dynamic and high-quality venue that will give the people of Cornwall access to the very best performing arts to rival any city in the country.

Because of a range of constraints left over from previous works when the theatre opened in 1997 and the daily demands of a heritage building, the venue wa showing significant signs of wear and tear and was no longer fit for purpose needing urgent attention. The backlog of maintenance and repair costs were projected at £2million alone and, without development, it was antcipated that we would have closed witin two years. As Cornwall's largest theatre provider, the current building was hindering our potential to drive forward our future and letting down the community it served.

We may be far from the centre of political power, without the clout of a core city, but we dream big. After six years of passion, grit and gusto and generous contributions from our supporters, our team have raised just over £19.4 million. We are progressing with Redevelopment Phase I and II; stripping out the interior of the auditorium, removing the seating, lighting rigs and balconies, which has also resulted in the discovery of beautiful original Cornish stonework.

On the site of the existing building, we’re building a new large-scale theatre to reopen Autumn 2020. Redesigned to be open for one and all and built up from the foundations of its previous life as a smaller multipurpose venue. 300 more seats within a new three-tiered auditorium, an unveiled heritage, lively bars and cafés, a creative digital hub with vibrant work and social spaces, will elevate the importance of the building at the centre of community and city life. 

Over the last two decades, our venue has played an important part in raising the standards and expectations of performance in Cornwall. Our programme is designed for one of the most diverse audiences of any UK Theatre and we're proud of it. Because in the last ten years, 2 million people have attended 3,700 performances here, with at least 10,000 people given the chance to experience theatre for the first time. We've provided creative opportunities to 100,000 young people and contributed to Cornwall's resilience by feeding £16 million a year into the local economy.

Looking forward means reaching further and when barriers to attendance are real, there's need to keep reaching. We want 300,000 people a year to come and see a show with us. Over the next five years, we want to give 50,000 more young people the chance to shine on stage and off, and become the catalyst for Cornwall's next generation of theatregoers and creators. 

And we want to build a new time of theatre that is open to all - warmly welcoming people as they are.