'Thrilled' theatre secures permission for extension

The grey modular extension design image.

It's hoped that the extension would be able to attract more shows to the venue. - Credit: KLH Architects/IBC

Extra dressing rooms will be created at Ipswich Regent's Theatre after its extension plans won unanimous approval.

Ipswich Borough Council's planning and development committee backed the proposal on Wednesday to install a pre-built extension next to the existing manager’s office. 

The extension, located behind the main building on St Helen's Street, will include three dressing rooms, toilets and showers, as well as other facilities for performers, such as a kitchen and an open area. 

Councillor Sophie Connelly, Ipswich Borough Council portfolio holder for culture, said after the meeting: “Ipswich Theatres will be thrilled its plans for improvement have been agreed today.  

“The planning and development committee unanimously approved planning permission for new dressing room facilities to the rear of Ipswich Regent Theatre. Securing improvement for the venue, without adversely affecting an important heritage asset in our town. 

 “We are confident that these enhancements to our arts and culture offering in a positive way will boost the longer-term sustainability of Ipswich Regent Theatre as a destination venue." 

KLH Architects, who formally made the application on behalf of the council, submitted a visualisation of the building that is going to be covered with grey cladding boards. 

Councillor Colin Kreidewolf said: “The Regent Theatre is a very important building to the people of Ipswich and it's the leading theatre in East Anglia for touring shows.   

“It's important that we are able to improve the facilities on offer to ensure that we can maintain the level of shows on offer to the people of Ipswich and surrounding area.” 

Most Read

Councillor Elizabeth Harsant told the meeting that the plans should also include some landscaping works, as the premises would benefit from biodiversity. 

Cllr Harsant said: “I'm sure somebody could design something that would help ecologically to mitigate the air quality area.” 

The theatre management hopes that the changes will attract more and larger shows to the venue. 

Regent Theatre is a Grade II listed heritage asset designed by William Edward Trent and opened in 1929 as a cine-variety theatre.