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An artist impression of the theatre which is clad in purple with the name Cornerstone

Introducing Cornerstone Theatre in Sutton in Ashfield

Ashfield District Council have revealed the initial artist impression for the refurbishment and upgrade of Sutton Community Academy’s theatre.

Ashfield District Council secured the funding to upgrade the theatre, which will be rebranded and opened to the public as Cornerstone Theatre, as part of their £6.27million Future High Streets Fund.

The Council are working with Sutton Community Academy on the plans for the project. As part of the improvement work the theatre will be completely renovated and reconfigured to create a new multifunctional community space that will accommodate a wider range of high-quality performances and acts. The new theatre will allow residents and visitors to watch professional theatre performances, cinematic experiences, music and comedy nights, as well as other community uses.

An artist impression of the auditorium with tiered seating and geometric acoustic shapes
The potential interior of the auditorium with tiered seating

New dressing rooms and a green room, toilets - including a changing places room, foyer and box office will be created to accommodate the improved theatre. Inside the theatre itself the auditorium will be completely refurbished with new flooring, ceiling, acoustic wall treatments and doors. A new retractable seating system will provide around 200 seats, and specialist lighting will also be installed.  

Cllr Jason Zadrozny, Leader of Ashfield District Council, said

“We are incredibly pleased to be able to release the details of the last of our Future High Streets Fund projects. So far we have delivered the renovation of the former Yorkshire Bank in Sutton, the old DWP building on High Pavement, and we are currently transforming another long-vacant unit on Low Street. The Cornerstone Theatre project is the cherry on the cake, it will allow more residents to access quality cultural events and productions, without having to leave Ashfield.”

A planning application will now be submitted to the Council in the coming days before work can start on the refurbishment. Work is expected to start in summer 2024, with a finish date of early 2025.

Cllr Matthew Relf, Executive Lead for Growth, Regeneration, and Local Planning, said

“This project will help us achieve our goals of creating a vibrant and safe night-time economy in Ashfield. As the new Planetarium will connect young people to space and raise their aspirations, Cornerstone Theatre will ignite their creativity and broaden minds. We are so proud to be investing in arts and culture, to allow more people of all backgrounds, young and old, in Ashfield and beyond to experience the magic of cinema, live theatre and music in an easy to access place.
“All our regeneration projects, funded through over £100million external investment, have the common aim – to create an Ashfield that is a great place to live, work, play, study and visit.”

Simon Martin, Vice Principal at Academy Transformation Trust Further Education (ATTFE) said

"ATTFE is hugely excited to be involved in the inception and the future running of the Cornerstone facility. Sutton-in-Ashfield and the surrounding area has long needed investment in and opportunities for cultural experiences of all sorts, and Cornerstone will provide these for the direct communities, neighbourhoods, and families that we serve."