The stage is set for a new roof at Lytham’s theatre - but the shows will go on during the work.
Scaffolding has gone up at Lowther Pavilion to prepare the building for the fitting of the new structure over the coming weeks.
Lowther officials say that as it will be placed over the old roof, audiences and performers will notice no difference and upcoming events there, including a sellout show by singer Barbara Dickson and performances by top comedians Rob Beckett, Russell Kane and Al Murray, will go on as scheduled.
The work is an important precursor to the £5.5m three-phase development planned for the theatre over the next four years.
Plans, timing and financing are currently being finalised for the project, which is set to include a new-look foyer, a restaurant and studio theatre and is intended to be ready in time for the venue’s centenary in 2021.
Fresh seating and new flooring was installed at Lowther last autumn and Tim Lince, chairman of the managing Lowther trust, said the original intention was for the roof work to be carried out then, but delays with the supply of the necessary materials caused the work to be put back.
“Next week, a crane will help lift the roofing structure into place and remove some of the unsightly heating systems that now spoil the aesthetic quality of the building,” said Tim.
“Work is expected to take between four and six weeks and will see an entirely new material used that will give over 50 years of guaranteed life to the roof.
“It is essential work ahead of the internal refurbishments we have in mind and we are very excited about it.”
The seating, floor and roofing work is estimated to be costing around £500,000, a substantial part of which has already been raised via the Love Lowther campaign, which sees members of the public given the chance to contribute via seat sponsorship and other similar opportunities. Tim added: “It is a testament to the customers who use the facilities and have supported us that we have come so far so quickly. Thanks to all who have helped us on our journey of turning Lowther into an iconic arts space for residents and visitors alike.”