The planning committee at Hull City Council yesterday granted planning permission for an extension of the Hull New Theatre and the demolition of part of a former fire station building next to it to provide space for new café bars and break-out areas in Kingston Square.
The extension of the theatre, according to a planning report, makes "the theatre genuinely accessible to a much wider range of people", because, currently, it says, it "is subject to significant constraints in its ability to accommodate all persons [including wheelchair users] with ease and dignity."
Councillors also granted permission for the construction of a new pedestrian and cycle bridge connecting the city centre and Old Town to the Fruit Market and Marina.
Planners said the proposal represents "a high quality, innovative and original development" and is "overtly modern in its design, providing an unambiguous ‘iconic’ structure clearly of its time, on a site where few standing buildings survive and the ‘dockland’ location and topography warrant a distinctive landmark structure."
Plans for an extension of the Ferens Art Gallery in Queen Victoria Square, as well as an overhaul of existing lighting and temperature control systems, have also been approved.
Steven Bayes, portfolio holder for visitor destination, said: "I am delighted that the plans have been given the green light and we can get started on creating the venues the city deserves in time for 2017.
"It was essential that the plans maximized the potential and breathed new life into these fantastic facilities and I am now really looking forward to seeing the work begin."