The Royal Court theatre’s plans to purchase the neighbouring Penny Farthing pub have moved a step closer after Liverpool City Council gave the proposals its backing.
The authority approved a £1.2 million loan that will help the organisation transform the public house into a pre and post-show bar and restaurant once a deal with the establishment’s owners has been finalised.
Furthermore, the regenerated pub is also envisaged as a base for housing extra facilities for the youth theatre and community choir, as well as additional wardrobe and technical areas.
In the longer term, the Royal Court will work with architects AHMM to explore further redevelopment options, including the possibility of integrating the site with the theatre itself.
Iain Christie, marketing manager at the Royal Court, says: “We are delighted that the council has approved the loan. Their support has been vital in the redevelopment of the Royal Court in the last few years. We can now move forward with our discussions with the owners of the building and hopefully agree a deal soon.
“Preliminary discussions have already taken place and they are aware of our plans for the site. Now that we have the financial aspect in place hopefully we can move quite quickly to move things on.”
The loan, which the council says will help “remove an eyesore from a key gateway in the city centre”, will be repaid to the local authority as part of a restructured lease agreement.
Plans to transform the Penny Farthing into the Royal Court’s new bar and restaurant are part of the third phase of an ongoing renovation scheme that has already brought more than £4m of investment to the theatre.