Ambitious plans have been announced to transform a picturesque town’s Grade II-listed theatre and help its creative community thrive. Partington Theatre is hoping to purchase the vacant former NatWest Bank which sits next-door to the venue in the centre of Glossop, just over the border from Tameside in the High Peak.
The bank closed its doors on Norfolk Square two months ago, but the vision for Partington Theatre would bring it back into use as a ‘state-of-the-art’ performing arts centre. The existing main stage auditorium would be improved, while a host of new facilities would open up for thespians, musicians and the wider community.
Mark McDonough, chairman of the board of trustees, said: “Purchasing this building would see our little theatre expand with more community space, rehearsal and storage areas, and most importantly make the theatre truly accessible to all. This is a very exciting opportunity which would make a huge difference to not just the theatre and its patrons, but to the entire Glossop community.”
Partington Theatre’s expansion plans include a new rehearsal space and black box theatre, a recording room for musicians, and a café with exhibition space for local artists. The theatre says its plan would also allow the building to host more services and events – including youth and adult dramatic practice, film nights and live music.
The historic building would also continue to be used as a venue for weddings, parties and other community events, while Partington Theatre hopes accessibility will be improved with the proposals. To turn the exciting proposals into a reality, Partington Theatre now needs to raise enough funds to buy the adjacent building, and locals are being asked to get on board with the project.
A spokesperson for Partington Theatre added: “Glossop is home to a wealth of creative talent, from actors to artists and singers to set builders, and with the increase of housing there is also a growing population who do not wish to travel further afield or pay city prices for their entertainment. This expansion project offers a unique venue on their doorstep.
“It will support the development of the Town Hall and Victoria Arts Centre, along with the existing small performance venues across the area. The theatre’s local partnerships are strong, however building additional support at this stage is critical to seeing this vision come to life.
“Partington Theatre asks the people of Glossopdale to join them in upcoming fundraising efforts to help fund the purchase of the bank building and create this much needed local arts resource.” Established in 1957, Partington Theatre produces five dramatic shows each year plus a pantomime, and is host to several community events.