National Lottery cash to save Stockton’s derelict Globe Theatre

The derelict Globe theatre, Stockton-on-Tees Credit: Kippa Matthews

Today, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) is announcing £4.5million of National Lottery money to save and transform the neglected Grade II listed Art Deco Globe Theatre on Stockton High Street into a live music and comedy venue with capacity for around 3,000 people.

The Grade II listed Globe is an Art Deco ‘super theatre’ situated on the main high street in the centre of Stockton.

It originally opened its doors in 1935 and between the 1950s and 1970s was a premier venue hosting famous acts including the Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Chuck Berry, Cliff Richard and the Shadows, Buddy Holly, Lonnie Donegan, Bay City Rollers and Mud. The Beatles played the globe twice, the first time on 22 November 1963, the day US President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. 

The building closed its doors for the last time in 1997 and has since suffered from significant deterioration. This new National Lottery funding will see it re-opened as a live music and comedy venue with capacity for audiences of around 3,000 people and the potential to create 250 FTE** jobs.

This new National Lottery money has been awarded through HLF’s Heritage Enterprise programme.  It is designed to help when the cost of repairing an historic building is so high that redevelopment is simply not commercially viable. Grants of £100k to £5m bridge the financial gap, funding the vital repairs and conservation work needed to convert derelict, vacant buildings like the Globe into new, usable commercial spaces that can have a positive impact on local economies.

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of HLF, said:  “In almost every town and city there is at least one historic building, like the Globe, standing empty that at one time was at the heart of the local community.  Whilst much-loved, these buildings present huge financial challenges.  Heritage Enterprise is using money raised through the sale of National Lottery tickets to unlock the potential of the Globe. The result is good for us all – wider regeneration, substantial local economic growth, much-needed new jobs and a wonderful part of our heritage saved from further neglect.”

Following the confirmation of this National Lottery funding, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council today unveiled its ambitious, expanded plans for the Globe.

Leader of Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, Councillor Bob Cook, said: “A project of this scale and nature requires substantial investment to attract world class operators and to be feasible outside of London so we are hugely grateful of the funding from the National Lottery.

“We are continuing to see significant investments throughout the town centre including new housing developments, the Hampton by Hilton hotel, the recently formed Business Improvement District and let’s not forget the many investments from smaller businesses like micro-breweries, quirky shops, pet boutiques, coffee shops and restaurants. The Globe’s restoration is the latest project to come to fruition as part of this exciting masterplan which is driving forward housing, business and cultural growth. 

“The restored Globe will have a huge economic impact on Stockton Town Centre and the surrounding area while complementing existing arts organisations like Middlesbrough Town Hall and Darlington Hippodrome as well as ARC and The Georgian Theatre in Stockton, further boosting its reputation as a vibrant live music and festival town and placing Stockton-on-Tees at the cultural heart of the Tees Valley.

“The live entertainment venue will create 250 jobs and attract artists and performers who will bring more than 200,000 visitors to Stockton Town Centre every year, visitors who will also spend money in the nearby shops, cafes and bars, generating an estimated £18m boost to the local economy each year.  That’s an incredible opportunity for people living and working in our Borough and will make a huge difference to the future economic prosperity of Stockton-on-Tees.”

Leader of Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, Councillor Bob Cook, added: “It is a huge coup to attract an operator of ATG’s magnitude and we are delighted to have the opportunity to work with them to create a venue capable of hosting the kind of acts and performances that will attract audiences who currently have to travel to Leeds of Newcastle to enjoy music and comedy of this scale.

“We would also like to thank the Heritage Lottery Fund for their support, without their grant, none of this would be possible and we must not forget that the Globe has a rich heritage, in particular as a music venue where acts like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Bee-Gees played and this will be recognised throughout the redeveloped building and through a number of heritage themed activities which will continue for many years to come.”

For further information on this release, please call Kirsty Grundy, Senior Media Relations Officer for Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, on 01642 528804.

Notes to editors

Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk.  Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #HLFsupported and #NationalLottery.

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