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    St George's Chapel, Great Yarmouth


    An enhanced community theatre anchors the cultural quarter of this revitalises town

    Location:Great Yarmouth, United Kingdom
    Size:660m² (Chapel) 220m² (Pavilion)
    Client:Great Yarmouth Borough Council

    Working to a very tight budget and in extensive consultation with English Heritage and local conservation officers, we restored, repaired and reimagined the 18th century grade I-listed St George’s Chapel to provide a flexible performing arts centre and community space.

    Theatre spaces have been improved, with removable seating to accommodate 240 people seated or 400 standing, and a further 60 people in the upstairs gallery. The existing nave offers a flexible performance area, and a simple fixed stage to the east can be extended when necessary to accommodate larger performances. New dressing rooms and support spaces at ground floor are recessed from the lines of internal columns to allow the original freestanding structure to be delineated. Other features include a new timber floor with underfloor heating and discrete lighting throughout for both theatrical and house scenarios. Additional acoustic measures include wood panelling and secondary glazing to windows.

    Outside, a new glazed pavilion complements the setting and function of the restored Chapel and creates an additional light and welcoming community asset, and theatre breakout space. The theatre now delivers a programme of outstanding arts events that deepens the culture offering of the town and has been the catalyst for further development, reinvigorating the entire neighbourhood as a dynamic and liveable district.

    In addition, we reinstated the original lead roof on the Chapel to improve the thermal and acoustic build up, and installed matching lead rainwater downpipes and hoppers. Other restoration measures include light touch repairs to existing masonry, a new exhaust ventilation incorporated within the bell tower itself and repairs to the faces and hands of the clock.

    Finally, the surrounding roadways and public realm has been drastically reordered as a pedestrian-friendly zone, re-establishing St George’s Plain and providing a new external public performance space.