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Assembly Rooms reopening delayed

The reopening of Tamworth's Assembly Rooms has been postponed.

It was due to open by the end of the year - but will now happen in January 2020.

The Borough Council says the overall poor condition of the building means the multi-million pound refurb happening there is taking longer than expected.

Here's the full statement from Cllr Rob Pritchard, Deputy Leader of Tamworth Borough Council:

"We are really sorry to announce that the reopening of Tamworth Assembly Rooms is to be postponed until the New Year.

"As you know, we are busy refurbishing and restoring our much-loved historic theatre in a significant multi-million-pound project, and regrettably this is taking a little longer than expected. 

"The project has not been without its challenges. The building has held many secrets of its poor condition right up to the end of the refurbishment programme and this has resulted in substantial additional works being required, even now.

"We have been working closely with the main contractor to understand what is achievable within the current completion deadline and have had to make the difficult decision to delay our opening until we can be confident that the building is 100% finished.

"While everyone involved in the project is of course bitterly disappointed with the delay, we can’t reopen with a venue that is not fully tested, fully operational and fully ready to welcome audiences. Our aim, was and still is, to provide the best quality venue looking and running at its best potential, this delay is about achieving that aim.

"Having spoken extensively with all parties involved, including the contractors, project managers and architects, as well as our own technical and operational Assembly Rooms’ teams, the theatre will now open in January.

"We are also speaking to the event promoters and hirers of the venue with the aim of rescheduling all the affected shows (please see the end of this statement for full details). This means everyone who has booked tickets will be offered either a new date where possible, or a full refund, if they would prefer."

"Everyone who has bought a ticket will also be offered a complimentary drink voucher by small way of apology for the disappointment and inconvenience caused.

"Our Customer Services teams are in the process of contacting all those who have booked tickets, and would ask people to please bear with us while we make our way through that list. If we haven’t managed to reach you by phone or email by Friday, November 15, please call 01827 709618, or email .

"Tamworth Assembly Rooms is an historic 130-year-old theatre which was in desperate need of significant refurbishment if it was to survive for another five years, let alone 130 years. The changes taking place are dramatic and impressive and will ensure the building meets the expectations of modern audiences, as well as opening it up for a much wider range of uses so it is sustainable going forward.

"All our efforts are focused on getting the venue open as soon as possible, but we need to be 100% reassured that the building is completely ready to welcome our audiences. We want that first experience back to be amazing and memorable for all the right reasons.

"We know this much-loved building is going to be great again. Not only will it be returned to the heart of the community, the aim is for it to be even more popular and more successful than it was before.

"We continue to attract and book some great names to perform at Tamworth Assembly Rooms in 2020, including Anton Du Beke, Trevor McDonald, Ann Widdecombe, John Chalis, The Fureys and many more.

"We know people will be disappointed at this set back, as are we, but we’ve come this far and would ask you to please bear with us a little while longer as we overcome this final hurdle in this major project to secure our beloved ‘Assems’ for the current and future generations of Tamworth.

"Our thanks go to everyone for their continued support."

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