Main phase of construction well underway at Hertford Theatre

Councillor Eric Buckmaster on site at Hertford Theatre
The redevelopment of Hertford Theatre to transform it into a thriving hub for arts and culture is four months into its main phase of construction and progressing well.

The team behind its redevelopment continues to make its transformation more sustainable, putting a wide range of measures in place to reduce the impact of redevelopment on the environment.

On-site, the council’s contractor, GPF Lewis, diverts between 98% and 99% of waste from landfill, ensuring the vast majority is reused and recycled. This includes the existing roof trusses, which will be retained, repaired, and partially exposed inside the main auditorium to give a visual sense of the old within the new.

Once built, the new theatre will be more energy efficient, helping to improve its overall environmental performance. The building’s external covering features a layer of insulation that will deliver better acoustics during performances and upgrades its thermal capabilities to exceed industry standards as part of a wider set of measures to minimise heat loss. 

Bird and bat boxes were installed to protect wildlife earlier in the project and will remain part of its legacy when construction finishes in early 2024.

The theatre will open in phases from spring 2024 with a combination of factors affecting project timeframes - including securing permits from external agencies to pursue aspects of the programme and the growing inflationary pressures faced within the market. Phase one will see the opening of the new first-release cinema offer in spring, followed by the live programme in the main auditorium and studio space throughout the summer of 2024.

Eric Buckmaster, Executive Member for Wellbeing at East Herts Council, said: “The theatre growth and legacy project is progressing well and four months into our main construction phase, the new building is beginning to take shape. It’s great to see the team maximising energy-saving measures so the construction and finished product are as financially and environmentally sustainable as possible. 

“However, we have faced increasing cost pressures over the last 12 months, like households and businesses everywhere. Rising inflation has led to some of the steepest price hikes in decades, which has meant rephasing the project and working towards external funding sources to fit out the smaller studio-theatre.

“This work will continue behind the scenes over the coming months to deliver what we set out to: a state-of-the-art theatre, cinema, live performance, and community space East Herts can enjoy for generations to come.”

Find further information on the development on our website.