Council to consider investment boost for Hertford Theatre

Hertford Theatre - entrance
East Herts Council is seeking a revised budget to redevelop Hertford Theatre at a meeting of Full Council next Tuesday (1 March).

The report published online today seeks approval for an additional £4m to cover an unprecedented rise in material and other construction costs over the past 12 months. 

Funding of £20.09m has already been secured to transform the theatre into a thriving hub for arts and culture, including additional seating, new studios and cinema, plaza for arts and culture and a new direct link to the 12th century motte, Castle Gardens and Hertford Castle. 

The proposal is to fund the increase by taking £3m from Earmarked Reserves and up to £1million of additional borrowing from the capital projects contingency.  

Eric Buckmaster, Executive Member for Wellbeing at East Herts Council, said:

“We’re asking councillor colleagues to share our commitment to investing in this project: to revitalise Hertford town centre, to deliver a new hub for our communities and to enrich the lives of residents for generations to come. 

“The Theatre sits in the heart of Hertford, but its doors will be open for everyone in our district to enjoy. This investment is part of our five-year capital spending programme that also includes Old River Lane which will deliver a new arts centre, leisure facilities, shops and homes in Bishop’s Stortford.

“Capital projects like this are not just undertaken to deliver improved facilities, they generate income for the council that enables us to protect the services we supply and keep charges such as council tax as low as we possibly can. After this investment, the new Hertford Theatre will no longer require a subsidy from the council and will generate income for the future. ”

The Full Council meeting will take place at 7pm on Tuesday 1 March in the Council Chamber in Hertford and webcast online.  Details about the meeting are available on the council's website.