East Herts takes steps to fund Hertford Theatre shortfall

Artists impression of new Hertford Theatre
East Herts Council is taking steps to ensure that the transformation of Hertford Theatre into a vibrant and exciting new arts hub for East Herts will be completed as planned, despite budgetary challenges.

The plan to redevelop Hertford Theatre was first approved in 2018, with the project commencing onsite in April 2022. Since then, rising inflation has had an unprecedented impact on the cost of construction, materials and labour. The council estimates that an additional £6,095,000 is now needed to ensure the completion of the project. At an Extraordinary Council Meeting on Thursday, 18 January, the council’s Executive will recommend to members that this be funded in full.  

It is proposed that the additional funding be achieved through the sale of up to £6m of council assets. This will reduce the council’s overall borrowing and interest payments, thus ensuring future financial sustainability.  

Sarah Hopewell, East Herts Executive Member for Wellbeing said: “Inflation has had a major impact on construction projects across the country and, in East Herts, we are not immune to this. We have examined a range of possible funding options and believe this is the right way to proceed. By ensuring the project is completed as planned, East Herts Council will start making a return on its investment and the viability of this fantastic community asset will be guaranteed for years to come.”

Amenities at the new Hertford Theatre will include:   
•    Three bespoke cinema screens allowing screenings of newly released films
•    A main auditorium with seating for 550
•    A studio theatre with seating for 150
•    A new dance studio
•    A riverside café and an additional upstairs bar for cinema goers
•    A community room
•    Improved access to all areas of the building, including backstage areas and dressing rooms

Click here to view East Herts Council's report on the Hertford Theatre Development