Tamworth Assembly Rooms preserved for future generations as ribbon cut on refurbished theatre

Tamworth-Assembly-RoomsThe ribbon has been cut at the new look Tamworth Assembly Rooms following a £5million project to extend, refurbish and modernise the 130-year-old theatre.

While the first performers and audiences have already been welcomed through the doors in recent weeks, the ceremony on Tuesday, February 4, marked the final official stage in the proceedings to re-open the building.

The honours were carried out by Mayor of Tamworth, Richard Kingstone, in a small ceremony attended by fellow councillors and people involved with the project.

Declaring the building officially open, Richard said: “This is the greatest honour I have been able to perform during my time as mayor to open this absolutely amazing building we have here in Tamworth.

“I’ve had chance to look around on several occasions in the last couple of weeks and I know you’ll be blown away by the fantastic work that has been done to restore our Assembly Rooms - not just for the next few years, not just for the next few decades but I’m absolutely convinced for the next few hundred years. It has been a superb restoration, full credit to the team behind it. This, I feel,  is not the end of the project, but the start of the regeneration of Tamworth’s town centre and we need to celebrate that and support it.”

The party then moved inside the building for a separate ribbon cutting by Cabinet member for Heritage and Growth, Cllr Jeremy Oates, to officially open Tamworth Information Centre.

Rosey Claymore then opened the Claymore Lounge, which has been dedicated to the memory of her husband, Steve, who played a major part in restoring the historic theatre. Steve was the council’s cabinet member for heritage and growth and sadly passed away in February last year.


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Guests were then taken on a tour of the building to see some of the dramatic changes which have taken place throughout.

Tamworth Assembly Rooms was first proposed in 1887 to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria and it was opened in 1889. Since then the theatre has continuously entertained the people of Tamworth and beyond, but significant refurbishment was needed to ensure it could survive for another 130 years.

The project has brought the venue into the 21st century, while lovingly enhancing and restoring the historic features which make it such a special building.

This has included a complete change of the internal layout to create an impressive, versatile building with more space that can be used for a variety of purposes.

Extensions to the side and rear have created a new multi-use space with a bar, a café, a studio/green room space and extended and improved back stage facilities. The building has also been modernised throughout with upgraded acoustics, heating and lighting, improved disabled access and more toilet facilities.

It is also the new home to Tamworth Information Centre, which has relocated from Marmion House.

The refurbishment of Tamworth Assembly Rooms is part of the wider £6.2million Enterprise Quarter project, including the creation of Tamworth Enterprise Centre and plans for a restaurant in the Carnegie Centre.

The project has been funded by the Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Local Enterprise Partnership which contributed £2.95million from the Single Growth Fund. The National Lottery Heritage Fund contributed £903,400, Arts Council England gave £365,000 and the remainder has been invested by Tamworth Borough Council and Staffordshire County Council.

Chairman of the Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent LEP, Alun Rogers, said: “The Tamworth Assembly Rooms building has been an essential part of the town’s cultural offer for well over a century and so we are pleased to have supported this extensive renovation through the Local Growth Fund. The refurbished facility will play an important part in the wider regeneration of Tamworth, contributing to the town centre economy and bringing in more visitors. It will also provide a new, modern space for the Tamworth Information Centre which will enable people to find out more about the wealth of other attractions in the area.”

A packed opening season of shows has been lined up for Tamworth Assembly Rooms and tickets are available now online at www.tamworthassemblyrooms.co.uk, from the Box Office on 01827 709618, or from Tamworth Information Centre.