UCL has announced that works on the Bloomsbury Theatre will only be completed by the end of 2018
The refurbishment started in summer 2014 with the planned completion date set at October of the same year. However, after encountering “a known asbestos problem” the end-date was postponed.
UCL stated that it “was difficult to predict the length of the closure given the complexity of the work needed to make the site fit for purpose.”
Initially it was thought that the theatre’s completion had to be postponed only until early 2016, though the date was pushed a further two times — first to early 2018 and now predictions are for late 2018.
UCLU Arts Societies have suffered greatly from the closure of the theatre, as they now have no designated rehearsing or performing space.
The society penned an open letter to UCL management last year asking it to provide replacement venues of the “same standard” as the Bloomsbury Theatre, as they wanted to still provide students with the “same important opportunities for [a] professional experience.”
In response UCL provided funding for societies to hold their performances at the Shaw Theatre and the Camden People’s Theatre.
The university has said to have been paying considerable attention to the issue. Nick Edmonds, the UCLU Activities and Events officer, said that “UCL have provided a place for me…at discussions so that the student voice can be heard, and have a real input into the reconstruction of the Bloomsbury.”
Despite UCL’s commitment to the theatre, however, there will be at least one student year which will never have the opportunity to perform in the Bloomsbury Theatre, because in total it will have been closed for three consecutive years.
Featured Image: UCL