Council agrees to Leeds Grand Theatre roof contractors

Leeds Grand Theatre.
Leeds Grand Theatre.
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Leeds City Council has agreed to drop its normal procedures for appointing contractors to ensure that repairs to the roof of the Leeds Grand Theatre can progress on time.

The decision, which was taken last week, comes after legal checks between the council and the Leeds Grand Theatre and Opera House.

Photo Essay..The Dress Rehearsal of Swan Lake by the Northern Ballet Company, at Leeds Grand Theatre...Ayami Miyata (Odette) and Javier Torres (Anthony)...2nd March 2016 ..Picture by Simon Hulme

Photo Essay..The Dress Rehearsal of Swan Lake by the Northern Ballet Company, at Leeds Grand Theatre...Ayami Miyata (Odette) and Javier Torres (Anthony)...2nd March 2016 ..Picture by Simon Hulme

The organisation is currently refurbing the building, on New Briggate in the city centre, as part of its bid to become a fully independent charitable trust.

It has found structural problems within the roof that are believed to have occurred prior to the company taking over the lease of the building from the authority back in September 2006.

The council has admitted liability to pay for the works to the auditorium and is ploughing £2.95 million into the re-roofing project.

The proposal is to build an over roof to support both the existing roof and the suspended plasterwork over the auditorium.

Once the new roof is in place and the building watertight, the existing roof will be stripped of its slate tiles which will lighten the load on the trusses below.

It has been agreed by council officers that the builders and contractors already working on the theatre roof can undertake this extra work without the need to put the project out for tender.

A spokesperson said: “To ensure works are delivered efficiently, on programme and within budget, it is considered the design team already appointed and the preferred contractor remain best placed to assume responsibility for the delivery of the works on site. “They have a detailed knowledge and understanding of the project and are best equipped to ensure works are fully coordinated.”

The Theatre is a major part of Leeds’ cultural infrastructure and is a central part of the city’s bid to be the European Capital of Culture in 2023.

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Partick Whelan and Gareth Hayes.

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