Stage set for country’s first cultural house in Skegness

The stage is set for Skegness to be home to one of the first culture houses in the country after the district council planning gave consent for the redesign of the Embassy Theatre.

The foyer of Skegness' new cultural house on the site of the Embassy Centre in Skegness.
The foyer of Skegness' new cultural house on the site of the Embassy Centre in Skegness.

The site redevelopment of the theatre, which has been a mainstay of the town since 1926, is set to significantly enhance the arts and cultural offer in Skegness, offering new and exciting opportunities for creativity, performance art, music, and learning.

The Scandinavian inspired redesign will see the construction of a new two-storey cultural involvement centre at the theatre that will incorporate a lounge, café/bar, as well as informal meeting spaces, improved visitor seating in the foyers, and multi‐use workshop space.

A new mezzanine floor will host space for activities on the first floor, and the external spaces and entrances to the theatre will also be improved.

Artist's impression of the new cultural house in Skegness.

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Once complete, the new culture house will build on the Embassy Theatre’s existing reputation of quality and accessibility to offer many more arts and culture choices that will appeal to local people and visitors to the town, and support health and wellbeing.

The project is being funded through Connected Coast which oversees and delivers the Towns Deal projects for Skegness. £1.3M in Towns Funding has been approved by the government for the redevelopment.

Chris Baron, Chair of Connected Coast said: “The Skegness Culture House will create a flagship venue for arts and culture in Skegness and will be one of the first of its kind in the country.

“It will provide new activities, events, and opportunities for local people and visitors to enjoy and the redevelopment will enhance the Embassy Theatre which is such an important and well-loved asset for the town.

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“The new culture house is set to have a significant impact for Skegness and it is fantastic that it has now been given planning consent to move forward.”

Pollyanne Trapmore-Shaw, Theatre Manager for Magna Vitae which operates the Embassy Theatre commented: “We are very excited for the future of all that is currently delivered at The Embassy Theatre to be embraced and enhanced by the Scandinavian concept of Culture House.

“Creation of an environment for our communities to discover, develop, observe and practise what Arts and Culture means to them can deliver life satisfaction on both social and economic fronts.

“Partnership working with new and existing agencies passionate about creative people will also usher in a new age of opportunity for supporting Arts as a career pathway for our area.”

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Coun Craig Leyland, Leader of East Lindsey District Council, said: “I am very excited about this project which will see those wider cultural activities on offer to our residents and visitors whilst promoting a sense of community pride.

“Being one of the first culture houses in the UK the building will provide an inclusive civic, cultural and community feel; actively promoting the integration of creativity, performance art, music and learning, stimulating improved health and wellbeing, both physically and mentally.

“This exciting new project will also create and support job vacancies and has full support by Skegness Town Council and the Theatre Trust. I look forward to the works starting in early 2023.”

Work is set to begin in 2023.