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EXCITING PLANS: St Albans Council unveils plans for culture venue to transform Alban Arena 

 Published on: 8th December 2021   |   By: Holly Bullen   |   Category: Uncategorized

A popular entertainment venue in St Albans is set to be transformed under ambitious plans for a new culture venue in the city.

The Alban Area, located in the heart of the city, has remained a popular venue for music and more, with plans unveiled to demolish the ageing building and replace them with a new venue.

These plans would not only include a new entertainment venue but a car park, housing and commercial spaces would also be available.

At a meeting of St Albans City & District Council’s Regeneration and Business Committee on November 23, members agreed to progress a vision for the site with a design created by a stakeholders’ group.

Councillor Robert Donald, committee chair, spoke about the benefits of demolishing the existing arena over refurbishing it.

He said: “The Alban Arena has served the district well since the late 1960s but it has been evident for some years that it is in need of a major refurbishment if not a rebuild. It cannot, for example, stage some major touring productions as it does not have modern back-stage facilities and is not fit for purpose in terms of the number of seats or flexibility it can provide.

“The stakeholder consultative group, including representatives of local businesses and community organisations, has considered various options to create this new cultural offer. They have recommended that the best way forward is to create a completely new theatre in a different position on the site rather than refurbish the existing theatre which will cost a lot and still not provide what is really needed.

“Demolishing the Arena also has the advantage of creating a much larger-sized space where we can create a city park, a new green environment and a plaza with a small underground car park hidden below ground. The existing Rose Garden will also be integrated into the greening project and be turned into a covered eco educational hub accessible and used daily.”

The plans are currently in the feasibility stage, so more work will be undertaken to assess the environmental impact of demolishing the arena.

Designs for the plans will also be displayed at public exhibitions across the district, to allow residents to vote for their favourites.

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