AN amateur dramatics society has applied to build a single storey extension to its theatre building, providing a foyer and toilet facilities for audiences and volunteers.

John Mills, from the Colne Dramatic Society, submitted the plans to Pendle Borough Council last week, which if approved, would see the additional space built on the yard area at the front of building.

A statement from Colne Little Theatre read: "The society is approaching it’s centenary and has provided the town and district with entertainment and plays throughout it’s duration.

"The Little Theatre was originally a stable block building purchased and converted in the 1930’s.

"It now comprises of an auditorium with seating for 68 people, a small stage and two dressing rooms backstage.

"Upstairs there is a small kitchen, a toilet, the green room, and scenery dock and storage area.

"Although still serving it’s original purpose the theatre’s facilities need updating to meet the expectations of modern audiences.

"It is a perfect venue for local theatre and youth groups, slide shows, talks, and many other small groups and organisations.

"During the past few years, there has been a lot of renovation work to the safety doors, windows, walls, roof, and a total re-wiring of the electrical system carried out.

"At present there are no toilet or wash facilities backstage.

"There is only one toilet on the ground floor at the back of the auditorium and there is no access to this toilet for physically disabled patrons.

"Outside there is a garden and a large yard which is mainly cobbled.

"This would offer space to add a single storey building along it’s length which would then provide a foyer, which will incorporate a box office, social space for refreshments etc., disabled access including two toilets, one of which is a dedicated disabled toilet."

Last year, Colne Little Theatre, along with Colne Muni and Pendle Hippodrome Theatre received a £6.5 million Budget boost.

The cash came from Pendle Council’s bid to the government’s Levelling Up Fund and was announced in Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s financial package.

Conservative-led Pendle Council submitted a bid for the cash, supported by borough MP and Transport Minister Andrew Stephenson, in June 2021

The £6.5m project, named ‘Colne Heritage Quarter’, aims to enrich town’s cultural life by investing in the three theatres.

The cash will pay for new and enhanced facilities creating a distinct and complementary offering to underpin Colne’s night-time economy, with Colne Little Theatre planning to use their share of the money for this proposed extension.

The planning statement from the Theatre went on: "We are currently in the process of purchasing the freehold of the building.

"A stipulation from the present holders states that the building must remain in use as a theatre, with a “no development clause” to prevent the building being changed to any other use.

"Due to the limited number of seats it is difficult to raise enough revenue from performances and theatre rental to enable the society to make additional major improvements to the building.

"This opportunity of a grant from the government’s ‘levelling-up-fund’ will future proof The Little Theatre for many years to come."

Anyone wanting to comment on the application should do so before June 16.