Soho to get its first new theatre in more than 30 years

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By poppy_smith | Monday, April 30, 2012, 21:04

London's West End is set to see its first new theatre in more thanthirty years, as part of a multi-million pound development project given the green light by Westminster City Council.

Plans for the new development between Charing Cross Road and Oxford Street will see the arrival of a major new cultural space for London, and mark a significant investment in the arts within the City. The scheme, submitted by Derwent London, will bring two brand new nine-storey buildings close to London's premier shopping street, providing mixed use office and retail space.

The site itself is steeped in history, having been occupied by a Crosse & Blackwell pickle factory during the 19th and 20th centuries. In 1927, Frank Verity developed the Astoria cinema for Paramount, which was remodelled as a live music venue in the 1980's after the cinema ceased use in 1976. By 1995, the site was used exclusively for gigs, concerts and as a nightclub. It was acquired by The Mean Fiddler in 2000, and ran live music events until its closure in 2009 in advance of compulsory acquisition and demolition for Crossrail.

The new development marks a major step in the redevelopment in east Oxford Street, which has been undergoing works by Crossrail since 2009.

Speaking after the committee last night, Cllr Robert Davis, Deputy Leader of Westminster City Council said:

"For years London's Theatreland has been one of the city's top attractions for visitors from around the world, and I am delighted that we will soon be welcoming a brand new addition to our repertoire of West End theatres.

"This flagship scheme marks an significant investment in the city and will play an important role in the regeneration of east Oxford Street."



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