Burnley Empire Theatre
One of the north’s most impressive theatres, attracting world renowned performers Charlie Chaplin, Harry Houdini and many more, 19th Century Burnley Empire is a class act in its own right.
Built in 1894, it is of significant architectural interest, particularly for its auditorium, which was reconstructed in 1911 by Bertie Crewe to house 2,100 people. It is Burnley’s only Grade II listed purpose-built Victorian theatre.
It closed in 1970 and the building has not been used since 1995, when a bingo operator moved out.
The sad demise continued with break-ins. The once stately structure suffered a fire and a very uncertain future, until a trust was formed to save it.
As their efforts intensified, the Trust contacted me to help assess the structural and safety issues necessary for the building to be rescued and restored. I developed a schedule of work and drafted tenders, making sure that only firms with the relevant qualifications and experience to work on the Grade II listed theatre were considered.
I formed a team of structural engineers, historic building surveyors and asbestos specialists to assess all potential hazards and design measures and accompanying budget needed to halt the building’s decay and bring it back to life.