As you will be aware, we have been working with local architects, Deacon and Richardson, to create plans for the redesign of our building. The plans have been on display in the theatre bar, so many of you will have had an opportunity to see the proposed changes. The redesigned building will enable us to provide upgraded accommodation for both members and the public. We have recently been awarded the necessary Planning Permission by Brighton and Hove City Council.
We would now like to invite you to a Members’ Evening at BLT, so that we can formally present the plans to you, as well as having an opportunity to talk about financial aspects, funding, timescales and phasing of the work. Similarly, it will give you an opportunity to ask any questions you may have. As this is a formal, rather than a social function, only fully paid up members will be admitted to the meeting.
The Members’ Evening will be held on Saturday 14th October at 7pm in the BLT auditorium.
Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM)
Following on from the Members’ Evening, you are invited to attend an Extraordinary General Meeting at which you will be invited to ratify the project expenditure which will take the form of a private vote, following the usual voting format adopted at Annual General Meetings. The resolution on which you will be asked to vote is set out below.
The EGM will be held on Sunday 29th October 7pm in the BLT auditorium
Brighton Little Theatre Renovation
1. The existing toilet facilities will be upgraded and expanded by extending them through into what is currently part of the garage. The sloping roof, above the existing toilets, will be replaced by a first floor extension for a new lighting and sound box (Production Box see 6).
2. The space which is currently the wardrobe area will be released (see 4.1). Its floor will be raised to be level with the floor of the bar and bi-folding doors will be installed between the current wardrobe area and the bar.
3. At the back of the area behind the bi-folding doors will be the props storage area.
Two Storey Extension
4. The plans propose a two storey extension to be built in the alley way at the rear of the theatre in front of the existing garage.
4.1 The ground floor area of this extension will become one area flowing into what is currently the front section of the garage. It is planned to use this area for wardrobe, thereby releasing the space currently used as a costume store (see 2).
4.2 The first floor of the extension will be a dressing room.
5. The upper area run will consist of an enclosed walkway providing access from the new first floor dressing room to the stage whilst also incorporating a replacement fire escape within the building and link with the ground floor.
6. The Production Box will be relocated and, by extending out across the sloped external roof area above the existing toilets, the box will be more spacious (see 1).
7. The beams will be removed from the auditorium to remove height restrictions and facilitate improved stage lighting.
8. The auditorium will be larger by removing the existing ‘dog leg’. Customer seating will increase marginally to 74 seats with more leg room than is provided by the existing seating arrangement.
9. There will be space behind the stage for flat storage.
It is anticipated that we will break down the work into separately costed discreet phases which will be undertaken as our finances permit. We will be relying, not only on our regular theatre income, but seeking additional financial support through fund raising. To that end, we have in place a fund raising team, headed up by Gerry Wicks, who will be managing the acquisition of supplementary finance to support the project.
We believe the proposed redevelopment proposals offer a range of benefits to the theatre, its users and our audiences. These include:
- Modernised and more spacious toilet facilities;
- Improved dressing room facilities with better access to the stage;
- More flexible use of the ground floor space. The bi-folding doors can be opened to facilitate bigger bar productions, social occasions as well as providing a more open space for workshops, Youth Group and customers when we are ‘sold out’. When the bi-folding doors are closed the area behind the doors may be used variously as a dressing room or a meeting/rehearsal room;
- More room for lighting and sound in the operating box;
- Upstairs flat storage;
- Improved seating facilities in the auditorium.
The Committee believes that the plans offer us a unique opportunity to bring about valuable improvements to the theatre’s environment. The Committee has worked very closely with the architects and we have had an opportunity to fully input into the proposals using our knowledge of the theatre, its activities, members and audiences. We are aware that the plans are long term and that the phasing of the work may well be over many years. However, we fully believe that the proposal presents a very exciting opportunity for Brighton Little Theatre going forward.
Brighton Little Theatre
Extraordinary General Meeting: Proposed Redevelopment
It is proposed to carry out a series of renovation works to Brighton Little Theatre, as previously set out.
The membership is invited to ratify the proposed redevelopment of Brighton Little Theatre and, bearing in mind that the costs so far identified are estimates, we seek formal support for the works with a spending cap of £600k at which point an EGM would be called to approve further spending.
The Brighton Little Theatre Committee undertakes to:
- manage the project at minimum cost,
- provide regular progress updates to the membership,
Please click on the link, below, to display the Proxy Voting Form, which will be necessary if you are unable to attend the EGM, but still wish to cast your vote on the above resolution. (Full instructions for the form's use are contained within the link).
If you are coming to the Q & A evening, please do not complete the Proxy Form until after that meeting has taken place.