Historic Swansea Palace Theatre could become a 'tech and creative hub'

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Palace Theatre
Image caption,
The theatre on Swansea's High Street is 132 years old

A Grade II-listed theatre with a history spanning more than a century is set to become a home for "exciting young tech and creative businesses".

Plans for the 132-year-old Swansea Palace Theatre, which saw performances by Sir Anthony Hopkins and Charlie Chaplin, have been unveiled.

Swansea Council aims to preserve its historic features while providing workspace for more than 130 people.

The public can now comment on the plans for the High Street theatre.

The proposed design by GWP Architecture includes mezzanine floors that look down towards a stage - as theatre audiences once would have done.

Auditorium balustrades would be reinstated and the stage would be retained to host small performances. A section of tiered seating would be kept for presentation space.

The plans have been assisted by the public through the Friends of Place Theatre Group and through engagement with Welsh historic monuments body CADW, council officers, the Theatres Trust and the Victorian Society.

Image caption,
The Palace Theatre at the turn of the 20th Century was the place to be seen

Council leader Rob Stewart said: "We're preserving this landmark city centre building and now have plans which help point the way forward.

"The sense of the theatre is to be retained within the building wherever possible, with the opportunity for workspaces to be laid out overlooking the original auditorium void towards the stage on split levels.

"Our plan will help transform the High Street area - already benefiting from many millions of private investment - and will help our exciting regeneration work across the city centre.

"We thank the public and business for their input so far - and ask them to give us feedback on the new plans that they've already greatly influenced."

Image source, Swansea Council
Image caption,
How the Palace Theatre building could look inside

A full planning application will be made later this year.

If planning permission is granted, work could start in 2020, with the theatre reopening in 2022.