The future looks bright at Buxton Opera House

15 April 2019

1979 saw Buxton Opera House restored to its former glory thanks to the hard work and dedication of many people. Forty years on we have our eyes firmly set on preserving the history of the building whilst securing the future of the theatre for generations to come.

We are therefore pleased to announce that we have been awarded a grant from Arts Council England and the High Peak Borough Council to conduct a feasibility study of how we can protect and enhance the Opera House. What does this mean for Buxton Opera House? Find out more in our Q & A below.

  • What is a feasibility study? A feasibility study is undertaken to find out if a plan will be beneficial and if it is technically and financially achievable.
  • Who is paying for this study? We have been awarded a grant from Arts Council England and High Peak Borough Council
  • Why is a feasibility study needed? The original hemp rope flying system and the uneven stage limit what shows can perform on the Opera House stage. Customer feedback has identified a need for additional toilets and improved access across the theatre.
  • What changes are being considered? The study will present several options including how we can improve the backstage facilities such :

             -Updating the fly system

             -Make the rake on the stage even

             -Improved toilet facilities

             -Improving access

  • Isn’t the Opera House a listed building? The Opera House is Grade II listed which is defined as a building or structure which is ‘of special interest warranting every effort to preserve it”. This means that any alterations would need to be approved by the local planning authority/council.
  • Are the general public going to get to see the results of the study? – Yes. They will be on display in the Opera House itself and available to download from the website.
  • Can the general public give their feedback anywhere? – Yes, your opinions on the plans are welcomed and you can share your suggestions at [email protected]
  • Who will be performing the study? Bennetts Associates - an architectural practice with offices in London and Manchester. They have worked on range of similar projects to the Opera House such as Shaftesbury Theatre and Kings Theatre in Edinburgh. They have won more than 150 awards over 30 years for their projects.
  • What happens next? The results of the study will be released at the beginning of June. The board of High Peak Theatre Trust will meet to discuss the various options, and after consulting with the relevant bodies and taking into account the public’s opinion a proposal will be announced.
  • How can I support this project? – A fundraising appeal will be launched and you will be able to help protect the future of Buxton Opera House as a working theatre by donating to a specific fund.