Final curtain for the Banbury’s Grand Theatre?

The Grand Theatre, Banbury, is up for redevelopment. The front in Broad Street. NNL-171001-161137009
The Grand Theatre, Banbury, is up for redevelopment. The front in Broad Street. NNL-171001-161137009

The future of Banbury’s Grand Theatre could be decided tomorrow (Thursday) as council planners consider allowing it to be turned into flats.

Cherwell District Council’s planning committee has been recommended to approve a scheme to turn the building in Broad Street into housing.

The Friends of the Grand Theatre have nominated the Art Deco edifice for listing as an Asset of Community Value, which is currently under consideration by CDC. Successful designation as an ACV would not guarantee the edifice’s survival but it will recognise the theatre’s value as a social and cultural asset to the community.

This is the third planning application to be submitted to change the building’s function from a potential hub for entertainment to a combination of residential and retail space.

The application currently up for debate asks for 12 flats to be built on three levels, with the ground floor retained for retail space, whilst maintaining only the facade of the listed building as an acknowledgement to its 100-year history.

Rob Kinchin-Smith, founding member of The Friends of the Grand Theatre said: “The Friends believe that this building is too good to lose and that a community performance space and hub in this key location in the town centre could be a key driver in bringing much-needed life and footfall back to the ‘old town’.”

Cherwell District Council’s planning meeting starts at 4pm at Bodicote House in Bodicote and is open to the public.

Read more about the Grand Theatre here.