An ambitious project to refurbish Chesterfield’s historic Stephenson Memorial Hall – which is home to the Pomegranate Theatre and Chesterfield Museum – has been boosted by £695,000 from Arts Council England’s Capital Investment Programme.
The funding has been secured by Chesterfield Borough Council and will be used to install a ventilation system in the Pomegranate Theatre auditorium and create a new Changing Places toilet. This funding will complement the Government’s Levelling Up Funding and investment from the council which aims to create a modern cultural attraction in the heart of the town centre.
Under the plans the refurbished Stephenson Memorial Hall will bring together an extended Pomegranate Theatre, a reconfigured and modern museum, alongside new gallery space, a café bar, education and community facilities. The £17.5 million project will also protect the Grade II listed building and ensure that it remains part of the borough’s heritage for many more generations to come.
Councillor Kate Sarvent, Chesterfield Borough Council’s cabinet member for town centres and visitor economy, said: “It’s fantastic news that we’ve received more support for our multi-million-pound refurbishment of the Stephenson Memorial Hall. This funding will help ensure we realise our ambitions of creating an accessible cultural experience, allowing more of our residents and visitors to access this building to enjoy performances and learn about our heritage.”
Peter Knott, Midlands Area Director of Arts Council England, said: “Our Capital Grants programme provides organisations with vital funding to ensure they have the right buildings and equipment to help them become more sustainable and innovative places, as they deliver exciting and creative work to the public.
“We’re pleased to be investing in seven projects in the East Midlands – from replacing well-worn seats in auditoriums and purchasing the latest digital technology to installing ecologically friendlier lighting and making buildings more cost-effective. Funded work includes updating access facilities designed to ensure a more welcoming experience for visitors.”
As part of these 2021-22 and 2022-23 grants, over £22.7 million has been awarded to 66 cultural organisations across the country. The Capital Investment Programme aims to help cultural organisations across the country transform their buildings and equipment so they can operate safely post-pandemic, improve access, seize technological opportunities, and reduce environmental impact. From Barrow-in-Furness to The Isles of Scilly, the organisations receiving funding share a vision to build a fit for the future cultural sector, which all members of their communities can access.