'Edgy' extra plans approved for Alnwick Playhouse as £3.3million redevelopment nears completion

Two planning applications were given the nod last week as the £3.3million redevelopment of the Alnwick Playhouse approaches the finish line.

Monday, 21st October 2019, 5:45 pm
Updated Wednesday, 23rd October 2019, 2:49 pm

The town’s popular arts venue closed last summer for the major refurbishment project, which is being carried out by Northumberland County Council.

The Playhouse will continue to operate as a theatre/cinema alongside a bar and an expanded café facility, but the building will also host the library, tourist information and customer services.

At a meeting of the North Northumberland Local Area Council on Thursday October 17, members approved two schemes to deal with some finishing touches to improve the appearance of the building.

The Alnwick Playhouse as it looks today. Pictures by Ben O’Connell

One sought to amend the approved plans to make some changes to the windows and doors, including getting rid of the proposed sliding door on the front, and add the likes of antennae on the roof and ventilation ducts.

The other bid was for advertisement consent for the replacement of the sign above the main entrance – the same size but in a different font, an additional sign on the main frontage and two additional banners for the library and tourist information. The existing four banners will also be replaced.

In relation to the first application, councillors did discuss the removal of the existing timber windows to the front and their aluminium replacements, which had raised some conservation concerns.

Coun Robbie Moore, one of the Alnwick ward members, said: “It’s a really exciting project, I think the changes if anything enhance the look.”

The Alnwick Playhouse as it looks today. Pictures by Ben O’Connell

But Coun Catherine Seymour said: “Aluminium is not superior to wood in my eyes.”

This scheme was approved six votes to one, with one abstention.

The bid for advertisement consent was approved unanimously, although there was some discussion about Alnwick Town Council’s concern over the colours.

The meeting heard that one banner was originally proposed to be bright pink, but this had been changed to a more sombre orange.

Coun Moore said: “They will re-emphasise the new facilities that are going to be in there. They look quite cool, quite edgy.”