A CHESTER theatre will be able to offer a more welcoming experience to visitors after plans to revamp its building were rubber-stamped.

Chester Little Theatre has been putting on productions for several decades at the former Victorian school building in Gloucester Street, which has undergone several upgrades over the years.

An application was lodged with Cheshire West and Chester Council to install a new entrance door, new cladding and new paving to overcome what planners say is currently an "underwhelming" entrance which "presents little sense of occasion upon arrival at the theatre."

In addition, the current individual entrance doors are not of sufficient width for wheelchair access, and are managed by staff to facilitate access for those require assistance.

'Coherent and tidy'

The application proposed that, as part of the upgrade package, a new automatic entrance door would be installed.

In a design and access statement, planners said: "The proposed development of the entrance area to the theatre is intended to create a more coherent and tidy appearance, not dissimilar to the existing, but more in keeping with the building's purpose and use."

Recommending approval, a planning officer for the local authority noted there had been no objections and one comment received in support of the application. The Theatres Trust was also noted as supporting efforts to improve its accessibility and to increase the visibility of the building.

The development was formally approved by Cheshire West and Chester Council this week.

Chester Little Theatre is continuing its 2024 season with productions of On Shingle Beach (April 11-13), Waiting for Godot (May 4-11) and The Hound of the Baskervilles (June 29-July 6). To book, or for more information, visit https://www.chesterlittletheatre.co.uk/