Cork flooring is being laid in the Congress Theatre auditorium as the two-year theatre refurbishment project moves along apace, ahead of completion in two months’ time.
The Grade II* listed building will re-open on March 24 in grand style with a concert by the internationally-acclaimed London Philharmonic Orchestra.
The new cork tiles match the auditorium’s original flooring when the theatre opened in 1963. New plush seats have also been arriving this week and will be installed once the floor is finished.
Since the Congress closed in January 2017, extensive work has been carried out to fully restore the theatre to its former glory, as well as make sensitive enhancements that will improve the experience for visitors and performers. These include new toilets, a new state-of-the-art lighting bridge and a new air conditioning and heating system which is already in operation.
Councillor David Tutt, Leader of Eastbourne Borough Council, said: “We are really looking forward to showing off our wonderfully restored theatre when the London Philharmonic Theatre come here on March 24.
“Across the site, there is so much happening and we are seeing significant progress inside the Congress as that project comes to fruition.”
The Congress Theatre is considered architecturally on a par with buildings such as The National Theatre and Chichester Theatre.
Its refurbishment is part of Eastbourne Borough Council’s £54 million project to create The Devonshire Quarter, a first-class cultural, conferencing and sporting complex.
Inside the Welcome Building, a new terrazzo floor is being laid while lighting is being fitted in the new conference halls and timber raised floors in the upper areas are nearing completion.
Work is progressing well to the plaza area where soft landscaping will be carried out during February along with finishing work on new surfaces.