Amazing Cube begins to take shape

The stunning Corby Cube is already a familiar addition to the Corby skyline.

But stepping inside the building for the first time left me amazed by its scale.

The tour started at the north east corner just off George Street where we walked two floors underground to a performing arts studio.

The double-height studio is designed for small performances and art exhibitions. The space has been designed for a variety of uses and can also be used as rehearsal space.

Cllr Mark Pengelly, leader of Corby Council, said: "It will seat about 150 people and we've managed to get funding of 199,000 for the equipment in here from the Arts Council."

A few yards later and we were standing on the vast stage of the main theatre, which will seat 455 people. The first pieces of red upholstery were being placed on the first of three tiers of seats during our visit.

There is also a huge orchestra pit and space for retractable seating.

The whole space is intimate, but on a grand scale.

Cllr Pengelly added: "It's like a good old day theatre – it has a very traditional feel."

Next to the theatre is a large loading bay for trucks to drive straight into.

"One of the problems with the Willows," added Cllr Pengelly, "was that lorries couldn't get stage equipment into the building very easily, but here they can drive straight in."

The theatre part of the building will be run by the Royal and Derngate managers and will open about a month after the Cube is handed over to Corby Council.

Upstairs we walked into the library built on two adjacent slopes.

Everyone will walk through the library to get to the new One Stop Shop.

At the side of the library is a children's reading area which juts out of the side of the building and can be seen on the Westcott Way side of the building as a suspended box.

It overlooks a vast, outdoor, stepped terrace that is already visible from the road.

Coffee drinkers will be able to sit on the terrace while visiting the public bistro in the building.

We went upstairs again, directly above the theatre, into the grand council chamber. It is at least four times the size of the existing chamber and has a large public gallery.

Cllr Pengelly added: "This is one of the only areas that has transparent glass and we put it here because we believe in open governance.

"The room is multi-functional and has 101 uses, including as a marriage room."

It can also seat 220 people.

There is a helical staircase that leads straight from the council chamber up to the roof terrace which will be a haven of green and will have views right across Corby.

A balcony at the side of the Cube leads straight out from offices reserved for senior staff – and looks out over the beginning of the Corby walk, a black and blue brick road leading from the pool to the station.

Onlookers can also see the woods, the East Lloyds estate, Rockingham

speedway and further on a clear day.

Cllr Pengelly said: "Most people just can't believe this place is in Corby. We're so proud of it."

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