Fareham Live theatre plans to replace Ferneham Hall paused due to coronavirus pandemic

PLANS to create a £12 million entertainment venue in Fareham have been put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic – pushing back its opening to 2023.

Tuesday, 3rd November 2020, 7:31 pm

Last night, the executive of Fareham Borough Council decided to put the plans for theatre Fareham Live on pause for six months.

It means the council is preparing to raise the curtain on the new venue in 2023 rather than 2022, as it originally hoped.

The theatre space will be the council’s most expensive building project to date, with it set to cost the authority £12m as it turns Ferneham Hall in Osborn Road into the new venue.

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An early CGI mock-up of Fareham Live. Picture: Fareham Borough Council

Pausing the project will enable the council to understand any long-term financial implications as a result of the pandemic and, if necessary, revise the business plan, according to Councillor Sue Bell, executive member for leisure and community.

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She continued: ‘The decision to pause the project has been taken amidst a wave of uncertainty around the arts and entertainment industry that has had an impact on theatres and their operators across the country.

‘As a result, it would be reckless for us to plough on without considering the impact of Covid-19.

‘That said, I would like to reassure everyone that the Council remains absolutely committed to providing a superb new venue for Fareham’s residents and the wider community.’

Fareham Live is set to feature a cafe, a terrace bar, and increased theatre seating.

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