The show goes on as Wellingborough's Castle Theatre's new operator steps into the limelight

Tony Doherty and Cllr Martin Griffiths
Tony Doherty and Cllr Martin Griffiths

One of Wellingborough’s most iconic venues enters a new chapter today when its new operator begins its management contract.

Representatives from Wellingborough Council have officially signed a contract with Parkwood Leisure to manage the Castle Theatre from today (January 8).

Left to right: Emma McGinlay (BCW), Karen Denton (BCW), Cllr Tom Partridge-Underwood (BCW), Tony Doherty (Parkwood Theatres), Cllr Martin Griffiths (BCW), Martin Cleverley (Parkwood Theatres)

Left to right: Emma McGinlay (BCW), Karen Denton (BCW), Cllr Tom Partridge-Underwood (BCW), Tony Doherty (Parkwood Theatres), Cllr Martin Griffiths (BCW), Martin Cleverley (Parkwood Theatres)

The decision was finalised in April 2018 after the council took over the running of the theatre at the end of June 2016.

The venue was closed by the administrator, which was brought in by The Castle (Wellingborough) Ltd when it was experiencing financial difficulties.

Council leader Cllr Martin Griffiths, who met Parkwood Leisure's managing director Tony Doherty today to get the show on the road, said: "This is an exciting time for theatre and leisure in Wellingborough.

"Parkwood Leisure bring to the borough more than 20 years of experience managing leisure facilities across the UK, and together we will be making a number improvements to enhance the customer experience, including seating and lighting upgrades.

The council has committed money to the improvement of the building and how that will be spent for the benefit of the theatre will be the subject of discussions with Parkwood.

Mr Doherty said: "We will be carrying out a transitional programme to make a number of improvements to the theatre, including the front of house and delivering our very own shows.

"We look forward to meeting residents, hirers and community groups and providing them with a first-class theatre experience."

Parkwood Leisure is working collaboratively with the council to improve customer experience, having launched a new website in November last year.