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Client:East Hertfordshire Council
Architect:Bennetts Associates
Contractor:GPF Lewis
Construction value:£16m

Hertford Theatre


This redevelopment allows a wider events programme and an increase in audience establishing Hertford Theatre as a dynamic community and cultural hub. The theatre has a spectacular location alongside the River Lea and the project is part of a wider urban strategy to increase public accessibility to the riverside with a new riverside path to connect the theatre to the nearby historic medieval castle.

The new cinema screens, studio theatre space and increased capacity to the main auditorium contribute towards improving the cultural offering. Sustainability has been a key criterion during the design development, and we have carefully specified materials to make the most of their inherent properties and to achieve BREEAM ‘Excellent’. The cinema boxes and the new circulation spaces are cross laminated timber frame and a concrete frame provides the required acoustic separation between the cinemas and the new flexible events space created below. The existing auditorium structure is reused with a new balcony and technical walkway inserted. The complex site with the River Lea and a historic medieval castle required us to work closely with the design team to develop the scheme to address the varying requirements of the Environment Agency, Historic England, and the Lead Local Flood Authority. As a result, the new link on the river edge has been engineered to sit lightly on the historic motte and respect the river.