Chorley Little Theatre is set to expand into neighbouring restaurant The Hyatt
Chorley's Little Theatre is set to expand into a neighbouring Indian restaurant for extra production and rehearsal space.
Bosses at the playhouse in Dole Lane have announced plans to lease the former eating house, The Hyatt.
It comes as Chorley Council is set to buy the building for Â£115,000 after the previous owner Manu Patel moved out to set up The Sizzling Indian in the Parker’s Arms pub.
Ian Robinson, who operates the Little Theatre said: “We can’t wait to expand the resources that we have on offer.
“Our current building has stood here for 108 years and we’ve filled every nook and cranny, so a bit more room to work in will be fantastic.
“We plan to use the new space to expand what we’re currently doing and give more opportunities to learn stage craft and appear before an audience. Our Youth Theatre, run by people aged 11-19, will be able to get more performance experience and we can also stage different sorts of productions, such as ‘in the round’.
“We can also use the space for comedy, music, meetings and intimate special events.
“At the moment there can be three shows in production at the same time, so the hope is the additional space will enable more events to take place without affecting the overall high standards of production we pride ourselves on.
“As well as performance, we plan to use it as storage space to make things more accessible for our volunteers, who range in age from 11 to 85 and can’t always get into the deepest recesses of Chorley Little Theatre.
“It will allow us to expand the services we offer and we’re keen to hear from groups and volunteers who’d like to use the building so that it benefits the whole community. Already we’re talking to book groups and local societies about making use of the space.
“While this will be great for our current volunteers we hope that new people will come along and get involved with our shows. In particular we need set-builders and house staff but all are welcome.
“We’re excited about what we can do with the new room, and look forward to seeing how it develops, not just for us, but for the next generation of theatre users in Chorley.”
The extra space means that Chorley Little Theatre will also be able to get involved with music festival Chorley Live as at present its main stage is usually required at the same time for other plays and rehearsals.
Ian says that the building could also become a box office in the future which would help to assist in the Chorley Flower show and other events in the town.
Councillor Alistair Bradley, leader of Chorley Council, said: “Chorley Little Theatre is a great asset to Chorley and we can’t wait to see what the additional space will bring to the people of Chorley.
“We have a strong connection with Chorley Little Theatre and we know that the public love getting involved with and attending their productions so we want to help in any way we can to make sure their resources are the best they can be.
“The intention is that the former Hyatt restaurant will be transformed into a space to be used for theatre productions, community groups and to assist events.”
Council bosses say that the lease paid by the theatre will cover the council costs in purchasing the building.