Westminster Council have granted planning permission for a new playhouse in London's West End.
The site of the Westminster Theatre, which was badly damaged by fire in 2002 and subsequently demolished, will be transformed into an eight story building, with flats and a restaurant as part of the design.
The theatre will consist of two performance spaces – a 314 seat main house and a smaller studio theatre which will host world music performances and cabaret.
London Aloft, the company which will run the venue, have appointed Gregory Thompson as Artistic Director, formerly of Glasgow's Tron. Playwright and actor Steven Berkoff will join the company as patron.
I am confident these plans will give this historic site a new lease of life
Westminster's City Council's Chief Planning Officer, Robert Davis said “The loss of this theatre was a sad day for the city, but I am confident these plans will give this historic site a new lease of life as a cultural hub in the heart of Victoria. Theatre has helped shape our city over centuries and forms the lifeblood of its cultural and entertainment offer which attracts visitors from around the world.
“The theatre industry contributes more than a £1 billion to London's economy so it is vital we support it at every opportunity. It is testament to its enduring appeal that even in the midst of a recession we can have an exciting, new and in my opinion well-designed addition to Theatreland.”
It is hoped work on the site in Palace Street, Victoria, will begin as soon as next month.