A council has given a sneak preview into how work is progressing within the Heritage Quarter in Colne.

A total of £3.8million has been awarded to the quarter, which is made up of three Colne theatres – The Muni Theatre, Pendle Hippodrome and the Little Theatre.

The Levelling Up funding will result in upgraded theatres and an enhanced programme of events and activities.

Leader of Pendle Borough Council, Councillor Asjad Mahmood, said: “It’s great to see how the work is progressing on the theatres and I cannot wait to see the finished results.

“All three theatres are such important assets for Colne and this major investment will really give the town a boost and attract even more people to Pendle.”

The Muni Theatre has been allocated £1.5million for a major refurbishment of all of the theatre, including new roofing and windows, along with new heating and lighting to improve energy efficiency that will deliver reduced carbon emissions.

Scaffolding has been erected both internally and externally and most of the interior has been stripped back to the bare bones. The refurbishment work will be finished in time for the annual pantomime in January 2024.

Pendle Hippodrome received £1.6million which will enable alterations to the ground floor and first floor of the former historic Derby Arms public house, to extend the theatre.

New lifts and the redevelopment of the existing theatre’s foyer, box office and toilet areas are also included in the plans.

Things are already taking shape, with walls being knocked through linking the two buildings internally. The new, extended theatre is due to be complete in June 2024. 

Levelling Up funds of £262,500 will enable Colne Dramatic Society to future-proof the Little Theatre. The project will include a single storey extension, incorporating much-needed wheelchair access and facilities, along with a modern foyer, additional toilets, a green room and kitchen/bar.

Work is scheduled to start later this month.

The Council’s Portfolio Holder for Leisure Services, Councillor Mohammad Hanif added: “All three theatres have suffered from chronic underinvestment over a number of years. This funding really is a lifeline to secure the futures of each of them and provide quality, up-to-date entertainment venues for residents and visitors.”