The Regal Project

Mid Suffolk District Council and Stowmarket Town Council joined together to fund the redevelopment of the Regal Theatre with the building re-opening to the public in May 2021. The project forms part of a wider vision for the growth of Stowmarket.

The team of specialist professionals who have worked on the project has included:

  • Northmores (Cambridge) – Project Managers
  • Mixbrow Construction (Needham Market) - Main Building Contractor
  • Purcell (Colchester Office) – Architects
  • Allman Woodcock (Norwich) – Quantity Surveyors
  • Waterman Group (Nottingham) – Mechanical and Electrical Engineering
  • Allman Woodcock (Norwich) – Quantity Surveyors
  • Integral Engineering Design (Bath Office) – Structural Engineering

The Regal Redevelopment Project seeks to provide a modern entertainment venue with first class facilities in the heart of Stowmarket. The key objectives have been:

  • To undertake an ambitious redevelopment of the original building which successfully blends the original 1936 “art deco” style building with contemporary additions and state of the art facilities
  • To increase the size of the Regal by expanding from one to three auditoria
  • To improve the audience audio and visual experience for customers
  • To improve the front of house area with a larger internal space and new toilet facilities
  • To improve the bar and café area and extend the food and drink offer
  • To improve the facilities for users hiring the Regal for live drama and music performances, business conferences and community meetings
  • To increase diversity in programming and user groups
  • To create an improved backstage area for performers and artists
  • To improve accessibility throughout the Regal
  • To enhance the street scene outside the premises through a new planting scheme and improvement of the Ipswich Street car park adjacent to the venue
  • To support the future of Stowmarket town centre and the daytime and night-time economies

As the building is owned by Stowmarket Town Council, the local community has had the opportunity to be involved in presenting ideas for the design of the new building. In particular, we would like to thank The Stowmarket Society, Stowmarket Chamber of Commerce, Mid Suffolk Disability Forum, Stowmarket Operatic and Dramatic Society and those who attended a User Focus Group for their participation and support. We would also like to thank local residents for all their support. Over 1100 people took part in a public consultation with 99% saying that they would use the Regal if the project went ahead. The respondents also highlighted their key priorities for the new Regal which we have been able to feed into the design process. Suggestions included everything from “can you spend some money on updating our beloved Regal?” to “can we have some cup holders please?”

The project has remained on course over a 15 month build programme with only minor delays caused by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. This reflects the incredible team effort that has gone into in delivering the project and we are particularly grateful for the unstinting efforts of Northmores and Mixbrow in this respect.

The project has been funded through a grant of £1.56 million from Mid Suffolk District Council. Stowmarket Town Council has taken on a loan of £1 million (supplied by Mid Suffolk District Council) and the Town Council is paying the balance of the cost of the project which is expected to be in the region of £1.15 million.

We hope that everyone is impressed with and enjoys the new Regal.