12/03/2021 - Permalink

Multi-million pound transformation of Ludlow Assembly Rooms takes significant step forwards

Related topics: Economic growth / Leisure, culture and heritage

A multi-million pound transformation of one of the county’s top venues has reached a significant stage in the process.

Shropshire Council and Ludlow Assembly Rooms has announced that the building is set for a technical handover from contractors Pave Aways within days, after a scheme to totally renovate the arts venue.

Workers are set to hand over the keys imminently – with finishing touches all that sit between now and opening when coronavirus restrictions allow.

Work has included reinstating the original Castle Square entrance, a redesigned auditorium, a new box office, visitor information centre and café bar, as well as modernisation of the mechanical and technical equipment, along with the installation of solar panels.

Shropshire Council has invested £2million into the scheme, with hundreds of thousands of pounds also raised by Ludlow Assembly Rooms.

Grant funding has also come from the European Regional Development Fund and Arts Council England.

Steve Charmley, Shropshire Council’s Deputy Leader, and Cabinet member for assets, economic growth and regeneration, said:

“This is a major milestone for the Ludlow Assembly Rooms project and it will be a fantastic asset for the south of the county.

“Work has been carried out meticulously by the contractors, who have done an impressive job in refurbishing and restoring this historic cultural centre to a high standard.

“We are dedicated to regenerating our towns and ensuring they are ready to bounce back stronger than ever, and the investment from Shropshire Council has gone a long way to securing that.

“After two and a half years of closure and the added pressures of the coronavirus pandemic, it will hopefully ensure an exciting future for the venue and everyone in Ludlow.”

The project received a further £130,000 boost in December 2020 from Arts Council England as part of the Government’s Cultural Recovery Fund: this, along with funding from the Rural Development Programme for England, will allow LAR to complete the fitting out of the new cafe-bar.

Gareth Williams, chairman of Ludlow Assembly Rooms, said:

“After a long wait, Ludlow is about to get a fabulous new community asset. This could not come at a better time as we all look forward to being able to once again go out to the cinema, a live event or just to eat out or have a coffee with friends.

“It has been a tremendous joint effort between Shropshire Council, the Arts Council, the European Union and the fantastic community here in Ludlow. We are incredibly grateful to everyone who has contributed, and particularly to Shropshire Council for its considerable investment both financially and in project management, and to Pave Aways, who have been superb.”

Philip Dunne, Ludlow MP, said:

“I am absolutely delighted that Ludlow Assembly Rooms has taken this major step forward and,  from visiting the site myself, I can say that this is an incredible and complex project which has seen an incredible amount of work put in by all involved.

“Ludlow Assembly Rooms is an important cultural asset for Ludlow and I congratulate Shropshire Council, as landlords, for putting a large amount of funding into the project and doing a proper regeneration job.

“It is the cultural capital of south Shropshire and I congratulate all who are involved and look forward to a bright and successful future.”