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£550,000 Playhouse repairs take centre stage

Liverpool Playhouse chiefs hope to carry out urgent work on the structure of the historic Williamson Square building this summer if the city agrees £550,000 of capital investment.

The city council Cabinet meets this Friday when it will discuss the proposal for the investment in the site, so work can be completed before the start of the autumn season.

If it is given the go ahead, the 151-year-old Playhouse - which is owned by the city council but run by the Merseyside Theatres Trust, will remain closed until September.

Work includes removing asbestos, improving internal areas, and making what the report describes as “long term external repairs”. It is understood vegetation growing out of the structure will be dealt with, and the outside of the grade II* listed theatre repainted.

The report adds: “In terms of civic pride, this project will improve one of Liverpool’s most historic and renowned theatres, updating the venue so that it is compliant with current statutory requirements and customer expectations.

“The project will protect existing jobs at the theatre and in the longer term has the potential to support the regeneration of Williamson Square, contributing to improvements to the St George’s Quarter outlined in the Strategic Investment Framework.”

Money will be recouped through a combination of MTT taking a small reduction in its annual revenue funding from CLIP (Culture Liverpool Investment Programme) and also paying £5,500 ground rent per year for the remainder of its 125-year lease.

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