Stockton’s delayed Globe Theatre is having a new roof fitted as work on its renovation begins to take shape.
More than 200 tonnes of steelwork has arrived in recent months and the steel structure for the roof of the Art Deco theatre is now being lifted into place.
Hold-ups have dogged efforts to repair the Grade II listed site.
Costs ballooned to more than £26.5m last year after troubles with the roof, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, lifts, plumbing, toilet layout and drainage hit the high street renovation.
Council bosses are relying on the 3,000-seat theatre bringing an extra 200,000 visitors to Stockton town centre– hoped to bring an annual £18m boost to the borough’s economy.
They are hoping the delayed project will be completed in November.
A brand new dressing room block is being built to the rear of the building, with steelwork, lift shaft and decking in place already.
The stage and orchestra pit are also nearing completion.
Cllr Nigel Cooke, cabinet member for regeneration and housing, said: “The restoration is progressing very well and it is great to see the roof coming on.
“The large steel trusses span 30 metres each and the lifting and fitting process will be completed within a week.
“With recognisable features like the stage and orchestra pit in there now, it’s all very exciting because you can start to imagine what it’ll be like when the place is packed to the rafters.
“There’s no doubt the Globe will be an absolute game-changer for the area, pulling in up to 200,000 visitors every year, and I can’t wait to see it open its doors and start welcoming the big acts.”
Stockton Council first put £1m towards a £4m joint venture with property developer Jomast to restore the Globe in 2011.
The work is now being carried out by contractors at Willmott Dixon with the authority putting £22.25m towards the project alongside £4.5m from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Meanwhile, the Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG) will run the Globe Theatre and has signed a 25-year lease agreement with the council.
Former Scarborough Spa manager Jo Ager has been appointed as the venue’s general manager.
She added: “It’s an incredible privilege to lead the team that will bring Stockton Globe back to life, and the passion and support for the venue to re-open are wonderful to see.
“ Stockton’s history and culture are steeped in music, and it’s extremely exciting to be establishing the town as a focus of the North East’s incredible live music scene once more.”