St George’s Theatre, Great Yarmouth
St George’s Theatre, Great Yarmouth

Client
  • Great Yarmouth Borough Council

Value
  • £8.5m

The Grade 1-listed St George’s Chapel in Great Yarmouth was built in 1715, and modelled  on the church of St Clement Danes in London designed by Sir Christopher Wren. After the church was declared redundant  in 1971, the building became an arts centre before falling into disrepair and being declared unsafe.

 

The restoration of the chapel and its conversion into a fully-featured performance space forms the heart of a regeneration  scheme which includes the creation of a new pavilion (designed by others) and an outdoor performance area in the park alongside  the chapel.

 

Our detailed survey of the historic  building identified problems  within the loadbearing timbers and structural masonry together with dampness  to the internal and external fabric. Drawings  and specification of repairs were prepared to restore the integrity of the building which included the re-introduction of traditional conservation materials to satisfy English Heritage requirements. 

 

Sensitive in-situ repairs were proposed to the structural and decorative timbers to the lantern and bell chamber involving temporary support from a purpose designed  scaffold, carefully sequenced  to ensure structural stability was maintained. 

 

Structural repairs and strengthening were required to enhance the chapel for its change of use with building services carefully coordinated to minimise impact on the  existing fabric. SPAB principles were followed which included minimal intervention of the original fabric, reversible methods of repair, honest visible structural enhancements where needed with use of modern materials/techniques. 

 

The initial phase of the £8.5m scheme commenced in October 2009 after funds were fortcoming from the Sea Change programme, the Heritage Lottery Fund, Norfolk County Council and Great Yarmouth Borough Council with building works completed in 2013.

 

In 2014 the project was awarded the National RIBA award and is shortlisted for the prestigious Stirling Prize.