The council's Projects and Works Department managed the project on the theatre's behalf, led by Senior Construction Project Manager, Paul Edmunds, and Project Manager Nicholas Taylor.
Between Monday 25 July and Sunday 4 September, the theatre has undergone a major redevelopment with building contractors Speller Metcalfe overseeing improvements made to all three levels of front of house and the replacement of all 1,200 seats in the auditorium.
The ground level has been completely redesigned to allow more convenient movement for customers when visiting the Box Office. The merchandise and confectionary kiosk has been replaced by a bar that will operate during the daytime from Monday 12 September, opening Monday to Saturday from 11am. The original foundation stone remains a feature of the bar where guests can enjoy a selection of fresh cakes, teas and coffees.
The stalls bar has been adapted to seat more people than previously possible with luxurious booth-style seating areas. Now known as The Encore Lounge, the space is a secondary performance area for more intimate events including comedy evenings and live music. The first programme of events for The Encore Lounge is free and selling out quickly from the Box Office.
The Dress Circle level has seen the installation of a new bar, named Arthur's Of The Grand - sponsored by British cutlery designers and manufacturers Arthur Price. Over 1000 pieces of cutlery have been made for Arthur's and in keeping with the Art Deco style of the new bar, Arthur Price has specially commissioned silver holloware pieces including champagne buckets, coasters and cocktail shakers all engraved with the Arthur's Of The Grand logo to make the whole experience for customers extra special. Arthur Price is a fifth generation family-owned company, with its headquarters based in nearby Lichfield where it also operates the UK's largest cutlery shop. Royal Warrant holders Arthur Price are renowned for adorning the finest dining tables in the World including The Savoy and Claridges, and now this famous British company can be found in the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre.
Exclusive booths now feature along the dress circle loggia. Available to hire during your visit, each booth seats up to 6 people and guests can choose from packages of drinks and premium bar snacks. A host for each individual booth will take care of your group throughout the evening. Bookings are taken in advance and paid for at the Box Office.
The Utopia Suite on the Dress Circle level features a bottle bar and can also be reserved for larger groups or parties when visiting the theatre. It is named after the first ever performance at the Grand Theatre on 10 December 1894 - Utopia Limited by the Doyly Carte Opera Company.
The Grand Circle now features a boardroom, available to hire for business meetings. Known as The Spotlight Lounge it will also serve as another large function room for guests during a visit to the theatre.
Inside the auditorium, all of the seats have been replaced, with a new 'Icon Chair' design by Audience Systems. These timeless and elegant chairs feature soft closing seats, which will reduce noise levels in the auditorium. The ergonomically contoured backrests, supportive seats and comfortable sitting height will improve comfort throughout the Stalls, Dress Circle and Grand Circle.
Chief Executive of the Grand Theatre, Adrian Jackson said; "I am delighted we are able to extend our refurbishment project to include the whole front of house area. Enhancing the Theatre in this way will greatly improve the customer experience and will ensure the Grand not only continues as a celebrated Theatre venue but also becomes a popular daytime and early evening destination for socialising and intimate performance within the heart of the city centre. Staff have been given the opportunity to contribute to the design and it's been a great team effort pulling everything together".
City of Wolverhampton Council Cabinet Member for City Economy, Councillor John Reynolds, said: "The Grand Theatre is one of the city's treasures and these improvements have been carried out sympathetically to show it off at its best - and improve the customer experience. We are delighted the £400,000 funding the council sourced from Black Country Growth Deal Funding has delivered such a fantastic refurbishment. It will open up further opportunities for hosting conferences and putting on bigger and more diverse shows. There is huge potential for attracting new audiences to Wolverhampton from across the West Midlands to live events and music, festivals, the arts, culture and night life. The improved facilities at the theatre will help this and lead to the creation of more jobs in the local economy."
- released: Friday 9 September, 2016