Stephenson Memorial Hall development
Chesterfield’s historic Stephenson Memorial Hall is being transformed as part of a multi-million pound renovation project to create a modern visitor experience in the heart of our town centre.
Around £11 million of the Levelling Up Fund grant funding we secured will be used to fund a £19 million renovation and remodelling of the theatre and museum space, which are housed in the Grade II listed building on Corporation Street.
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 theatre auditorium and create a new Changing Places toilet.
Under the proposals the refurbished hall will bring together an extended Theatre, a reconfigured and modern museum, alongside new gallery space, a café bar, education and community facilities.
G F Tomlinson took control of the site in November 2023 and will now work to deliver the enhanced building along with improvements to Corporation Street. The project is expected to be completed before the end of 2025.
The designs for the building have been developed by leading architectural firm Bauman Lyons.
The below video aims to show an impression of the new layout of the enhanced building. The colours and wall decorations shown in the video are indicative only.
We will be working hard to offer residents and visitors a wide range of arts and heritage activities in other venues in the town centre and the borough, whilst the transformation of the building is carried out.
A New Vision
We will be reopening the original historic entrance creating a grand one-building entrance befitting the new combined cultural venue. From here visitors will be able to enter into the welcome foyer with access to a retail space and a relocated café bar, marking both the beginning and end of the visitor journey.
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.
The work 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. Creating a more accessible experience is another key aim of the proposals. The plans include three new lifts which will significantly improve the accessibility of the building for visitors, artists, and employees.
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 and improved sight lines. New theatre systems including lighting and stage rigging creates a contemporary theatre experience whilst the new seating layout retains the intimate feel of the auditorium.
New entrances to the rear of the stalls and extended circle will be created at ground and first floor level, linking the theatre to the café bar and new extension. There will also be integrated exhibition and display opportunities throughout the building allowing greater access to Chesterfield’s heritage. An enhanced back of house area will ensure that artists have modern facilities where they can prepare for performances.
We are aiming to create a larger enhanced museum space, using the latest technology to help celebrate both our heritage and our community.
The medieval builders wheel forms the backdrop to the welcome space, offering an invitation to explore the museum. The existing museum storage and office spaces on the upper floor are reimagined as four new museum exhibition spaces, utilising the height and celebrating the historic details of the building.
Chesterfield Museum closed in March 2022 in preparation for the multi-million-pound renovation work to begin.
The museum collection has been securely stored in a controlled environment to ensure preservation, while the refurbishment is underway.
We’re working hard to make sure people will still be able to enjoy our museum attractions during the closure.
Visit the Chesterfield Museum website or follow Chesterfield Museum on social media for the latest information.
The Pomegranate Theatre is now closed for refurbishment but a full programme of shows, including the annual pantomime, are being presented at The Winding Wheel Theatre. Tickets can be booked by calling the box office on 01246 345222 or by visiting the Chesterfield Theatres website.
Visit the website or follow Chesterfield Theatres on social media for the latest information.