Building work continues at the Congress Theatre
With over 200 people working daily on the Devonshire Quarter, the work to complete the once-in-a-generation transformation is moving ahead at great pace.
The first major concert in the new Congress Theatre on 24 March will bring the acclaimed London Philharmonic Orchestra back to Eastbourne and is already completely sold out.
Turning the Congress Theatre, which was built 56 years ago in 1963, into an international class centre for arts and culture, is regarded as one of the most complex and important redevelopment projects ever undertaken in the history of UK theatre.
Councillor David Tutt, Leader of Eastbourne Borough Council, said: “It is difficult to put into words quite how complex the work is to bring the Congress Theatre into the 21st Century. Some of the old equipment and plant machinery that has been removed are nothing short of museum pieces.
“One of the most commonly voiced complaints about the old Congress auditorium was the lack of a functioning air conditioning system. The two new air conditioning units are huge and boast the most sophisticated and world leading technology; absolutely essential for a venue of this scale, but incredibly challenging to integrate into a building of this age - it’s remarkable to think that over 50km of new cabling alone is being installed!”
The Welcome Building and superb conferencing facilities are nearly complete and outside the groundwork on the new public plaza and ramped access is well underway.
Councillor Tutt added: “We shouldn’t forget that the Congress Theatre is Grade II* listed, so all the work has to be undertaken in close collaboration with Historic England. The restoration solutions to archaic technology, inadequate plant infrastructure and other fixtures and fittings, have to be sympathetic to the fabric of the building.”
Published on 23 January, 2019