Revitalising the Heart of Chesterfield

Stephenson Memorial Hall

Stephenson Memorial Hall

Chesterfield’s ‘striking’ Stephenson Memorial Hall – which is home to the town’s museum and Pomegranate Theatre – is undergoing refurbishment as part of a multi-million pound project.

The refurbishment of Stephenson Memorial Hall home to both the Pomegranate Theatre and Chesterfield Museum includes the creation of a single entrance to both facilities, an expanded theatre, a reconfigured museum, community spaces and a new café bar. The project is led by Chesterfield Borough Council.

Leading Midlands construction firm G F Tomlinson took control of the site in November and will now work to deliver the enhanced building along with improvements to Corporation Street.

Initially announced in 2021 following a funding commitment from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund, the project has been in development ever since. The Museum and Theatre closed in 2022 to allow preparatory works to begin including the removal of asbestos, ground investigations and a strip-out.

The refurbishment of the Grade II listed Stephenson Memorial Hall aims to celebrate the history of the building but with a modern twist. The new Corporation Street link gallery extension will create a gateway impact improving the sense of arrival to Chesterfield. At night these elevations will illuminate the street scene, ensuring the building looks vibrant at all times of day.

By reopening the historic doorway under the tower, we will create a grand one-building entrance befitting the new combined cultural venue and encourage visitors to explore both aspects of the building.

From this entrance, visitors will be able to enter the welcome foyer with access to a museum exhibition space featuring the historic builder’s wheel, a retail space, the auditorium and a relocated café bar.

Upstairs four new Museum spaces will allow for the story of Chesterfield and the people that made the town what it is to be told. A climate-controlled room will allow more of the Museum’s collection to be displayed and interactive activities will help new audiences engage with the Museum.

Artist Impression of the Cafe Bar at the Stephenson Memorial Hall

Plans aim to enhance, expand and modernise the theatre without compromising the atmosphere and historic features. The auditorium will be refurbished with new seating, increased capacity, improved sight lines and new environmental controls. New theatre systems including lighting and stage rigging create a contemporary theatre experience whilst the new seating layout retains the intimate feel of the auditorium.

The updated building will also improve accessibility with the addition of new lifts, new seating options in the theatre and a new changing places toilet.

Artist impression of the museum at the Stephenson Memorial Hall

In Autumn 2021 Chesterfield Borough Council received almost £20 million from the Government’s Levelling Up fund. A portion will be used to deliver the council’s Revitalising the Heart of Chesterfield Project which aims to improve connections across the town centre and create attractive public spaces to support a range of events and markets.

Around £11 million of the Levelling Up Fund grant funding will be used to fund the £17 million renovation and remodelling of Stephenson Memorial Hall.

The project received a further funding boost with £695,000 from Arts Council England’s Capital Investment Programme which will be used to install a ventilation system in the auditorium and create a new Changing Places toilet.

The project is expected to be completed before the end of 2025.

Information about the project and updates as work progresses are available on the council’s website:

Artists impression of Stephenson Memorial Hall

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