New look for Burnley Mechanics Theatre

The new lounge bar at Burnley Mechanics
The new lounge bar at Burnley Mechanics

Burnley’s Mechanics Theatre has undergone a summer makeover.

The bar and foyer have been refurbished, there is a new basement studio and in the New Year there will be an extra performance space.

The bar area of the refurbished Mechanics. (s)

The bar area of the refurbished Mechanics. (s)

The £140,000 scheme has been completed in just over four weeks in time for the new autumn and winter programme of events to begin.

Work to transform the town’s main live entertainment venue has used the theme of “home” to create a ‘home from home’ atmosphere throughout, and the new performance space due to open in January, and to be separately funded, will be called “The Front Room”.

The project was paid for by a number of sources including Burnley Council, Burnley Leisure, Carlsberg UK and Wall’s ice cream, who have installed a Ben & Jerry’s parlour on the first floor.

With support from Carlsberg UK, the theatre’s foyer has been transformed into a lounge bar which houses 20 different types of gin and four different tonics, making it the largest gin stock in the area. It also has local beers, loose teas and non-alcoholic drinks.

The Basement studio, previously an art gallery, will be used by the KLF Dance and Theatre School and can also be hired out to the public for community events and activities.

Burnley Council’s Executive member for leisure and culture Coun. Bea Foster said: “As part of the council’s agreement in establishing Burnley Leisure, Burnley Council committed to ensuring that the facilities operated by the Trust are well-maintained and fit for purpose. This included an £85,000 contribution which was approved as part of the council’s wider capital programme in April 2014.

“I would encourage people to visit and see for themselves how good the improvements are.”

The public are welcome to the Mechanics’ official open day event on Thursday, September 11th, to see how the building has been transformed.

Burnley Leisure chief executive Gerard Vinton said: “The Mechanics’ much-needed facelift has been scheduled for some time now and we’re very fortunate that additional funds and grants came in from external partners allowing us to extend the scope of the works.

“We’re very pleased to complete the majority of refurbishment in such short time during the summer when it is closed to the public. I’d like to encourage everyone to come and see what the Mechanics looks like now.”

The Mechanics is currently hosting the third CAMRA Burnley Beer Festival (Thursday, Friday and Saturday) featuring more than 80 ales.

See the festival’s official website www.burnleybeerfestival.co.uk