The Webster Memorial Theatre, Arbroath

Award-winning project transformed historic theatre into a modern and fully compliant visitor attraction

Brief

Our client Angus Council engaged Bell Ingram Design in 2004 to fully refurbish and transform the historic Webster Memorial Theatre in Arbroath into a modern visitor attraction and improve the overall audience experience. Externally the Main Fa├žade, built in 1867, was in poor condition with the stonework badly eroded and spalling, plus there was a particular focus on Health and Safety and the Disability Discrimination Act, with the theatre facing closure if not swiftly brought up to acceptable standards.

Process

A grant from the Town Heritage Initiative was sufficient to fully fund the renovation of the external stonework. Improvements were made to the provision of public spaces including the creation of an attractive and inviting entrance area and foyer. The main auditorium was completely remodelled to significantly enhance sightlines, lighting sound and acoustics, with disabled access fully integrated with the overall design. Radical enhancements to the Assembly Hall provided additional multi-function performance and conference space. Work on the theatre also tied into an opportunity to improve the existing streetscape.

Outcome

The Webster Theatre is now a fully accessible, multi-functional and successful professional theatre. The success of the project can be demonstrated by the range of awards it has received since opening in January 2008. The theatre received the award for Best Example of Environmental Improvement/Conservation 2008 from the Dundee Institute of Architects, the Ron MacFarlane Award for the Best Accessible Building in Angus in 2008 and the Angus Council 2009 Excellence Award for Project of the Year.

Susan Burness

Conservation Accredited Architect
Director, Bell Ingram Design
Forfar
Tel: 01307 462 516

Scott Ramsay

Senior Architectural Technician
Design
Forfar
Tel: 01307 462 516

Article posted on 21/07/2020

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