Theatre refurb fit for a King

The £2.6m refurbishment of the city's Kings Theatre took an important step forward today with the appointment of the main contractor, H&J Martin Ltd.

The main contract, covering the first two phases of a three-phase investment into the building, was awarded following a formal procurement process during which five contractors were shortlisted and invited to submit tenders.

Phase one, consisting of external stone and roof repairs, will begin in mid-September and is expected to take nine months. It has been scheduled to minimise any disruption to the existing events programme between October 2011 and January 2012, including the Pantomime.

Once the Pantomime has finished its run, the building will close to allow phase two to be carried out.  These internal works, such as improved disabled access, better ventilation, decorative improvements and a new box office will all enhance the theatre-goer's experience from June 2012 - the scheduled date for reopening.

Councillor Deidre Brock, Culture Leader for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: "This essential investment will ensure that audiences of all ages can continue to enjoy the shows at our much-loved theatre, from its spectacular annual pantomime and amateur productions through to superb Edinburgh International Festival performances, for many more years to come."

Pat Weller, CEO of Festival City Theatres Trust, added: "As the 'Old Lady of Leven Street' approaches her 105th anniversary, we are grateful that the City of Edinburgh Council and Historic Scotland are funding a programme of works which will allow us to offer customers a more comfortable experience."

The third and final phase, to renew the seating within the stalls, is subject to a separate tendering process, which is currently underway. It is anticipated that these works will take place during the final month of the refurbishment.

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