Renovation work at a historic Colne theatre has been completed and the unveiling was marked with a performance of Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads.
Work at The Little Theatre, the first of the three theatres in Colne’s newly-formed Heritage Quarter, was made possible with money from Round One of the Government’s Levelling Up Fund.
Work started last September and funds have enabled Colne Dramatic Society to future-proof the theatre with the creation of a single-storey extension, incorporating wheelchair access and facilities, along with a modern foyer, additional toilets, a green room and kitchen/bar.
Leader of Pendle Borough Council and Executive Portfolio Holder for Growth and Regeneration, Councillor Asjad Mahmood, said: “It’s great that the refurbishment work on The Little Theatre is complete – and what a transformation! 
“It looks amazing and I’m sure audiences will agree.”
Almost £3.5m has been awarded to Colne’s three theatres – The Muni Theatre, Pendle Hippodrome and The Little Theatre – for refurbishment and restoration work to be carried out to bring them back to their former glory.
Pendle Hippodrome received £1,661,100, to enable the refurbishment and alterations to the ground floor and first floor of the former historic Derby Arms public house, with the installation of passenger lifts and the redevelopment of the existing theatre’s foyer, box office and toilet areas.
The first and second floors are complete and the carpet on the ground floor has been fitted. The existing bar in the theatre needs to be removed and a disabled toilet needs to be built in the old box office. 
This work cannot be done until the new facilities are in place, as the theatre has remained operational throughout the project.
Pendle Hippodrome is scheduled to be completed by the end of this month and the first opportunity for audiences to see the finished result will be at The Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival during the August Bank Holiday weekend.
This will be followed by the theatre company's production of ‘Sunset Boulevard’ in September.
The Muni Theatre was allocated £1,563,300 for a major refurbishment, including new roofing and windows, along with new heating and lighting to improve energy efficiency.
The exterior of the building has been extensively cleaned from top to bottom and the original external lights have been fixed and now illuminate the impressive roof line.
 Work on The Muni is continuing.
Executive Portfolio holder for Leisure Services, said, Councillor Mohammad Hanif: “The Levelling Up funding has provided a lifeline for the long-term sustainability of these three individual and unique theatres in the heart of Colne. 
“Each will provide the local community and visitors with an enhanced programme of events and activities.”