THE £13.7 million restoration of Darlington’s Civic Arts Centre and transformation into Darlington Hippodrome has created a venue “for generations to come”, says its theatre director.
The Arts Centre closed in May 2016 and the Hippodrome opened 18 months later following a project which saw seating capacity increase from 300 to 1,000.
Other elements of the renovation included new dressing rooms, the addition of a three-storey glass atrium and new counterweight fly system allowing the venue to accommodate larger touring productions.
“The restoration project saw a tired theatre brought back to life,” says director Lynda Winstanley. “It is now a venue fit for purpose for generations to come and it was a joy to see the building take shape with the restoration of the old being complemented by the creation of the new, side by side.”
Money towards the work came from the Heritage Lottery Fund, grants, donations and the ticket restoration levy.
Acts playing the venue include Russell Watson, Rumours of Fleetwood Mac and Jane McDonald.