25 03 24 | Community

NK Theatre Arts back on stage as Romiley Forum set to reopen this Summer

NK Theatre Arts back on stage as Romiley Forum set to reopen this Summer

Theatre lights will soon be back on for NK Theatre, as Stockport Council has appointed a contractor to carry out work to make Forum Theatre in Romiley safe for reopening this summer.  

Stockport Council has appointed contractors to repair the much-loved Forum Theatre in Romiley, which is safe to reopen after the discovery of Reinforced Aerated Autoclave Concrete (RAAC).

Following investigation work since the theatre closed in September 2023, temporary propping has been put in place to allow safe access for theatre staff and contractors/ designers. This has enabled further design and inspection work to take place to inform the full extent of the work required.

A plan has been agreed between the Council, the contractor Robertson Construction and NK Theatre Arts to identify the key spaces that are required to enable a phased reopening. Phase 1 includes the foyer, theatre, toilets and back of house areas. Following the opening of these areas, Phase 2 will include further support and community spaces.

Work will begin imminently as soon as the final details are confirmed with the newly appointed contractor.

Cllr Frankie Singleton, Cabinet Member for Communities, Culture & Sport at Stockport Council, said:

“I am delighted that such a much-loved and valued community asset will be able to reopen to the public and for use by NK Theatre Arts soon.

“I’d like to thank everyone for their support, patience and positive attitude while the RAAC situation has been ongoing, it has been a really challenging issue with many complex elements. As our tenure as Greater Manchester’s Town of Culture draws to a close leaving a lasting legacy for the Arts scene in Stockport, the efforts behind the scenes and repair work will mean the venue can continue to be used safely for generations to come.”

The presence of RAAC in The Forum Theatre has been known since roof repairs were undertaken in 2017 and following the change in Government guidance in August 2023, Stockport Council reviewed its corporate estate and instructed an urgent inspection of the Theatre.  This was conducted by a third party and confirmed the presence of RAAC.

Stockport Council has approached central government bodies to request funding for the repairs in line with the approach taken to schools and colleges. Approaches have also been made to other organisations facing the same challenges so a joined-up approach can be taken.

NKTA and the Council will work together to fund a package of works that will allow the permanent reopening of the site and secure the long-term future of the Theatre and Community Centre.

Further updates will be provided as soon as they are available.

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