Government has today announced plans for the construction of a new Gibraltar National Theatre at the John Mackintosh Hall.

The plans are for the central core of the Hall, which holds the current theatre, to be removed, and, together with the area not housing the annex to the Gibraltar College, be replaced with a new full-sized theatre. The theatre will include an auditorium suitable for over 900 people, a stage over 13m across with large areas for wings, and a fly tower.

The entrance to the John Mackintosh Hall via Main Street, and the courtyard will be unaffected, and the area does not include the Hebrew High School which is at the northern end of the site.

The changes will also produce a larger library and other enhanced areas, expanding the John Mackintosh Hall’s role as a cultural centre.

Govt have said that the use of this location in preference to the formerly propsed Queen’s Cinema, "reduces the cost of the project, improves existing facilities in a more central location, and releases the Queen’s Cinema site for other potential uses."

Minister for Culture the Hon Steven Linares commented, “We are delivering excellent facilities for the sporting community, and are just as committed to doing so for the large performing arts family. It will be an excellent facility which will help take the performing arts in Gibraltar to an even higher level than they are.

Minister for Education the Hon John Cortes, who before entering politics was a regular performer on the stage, added, “As a keen supporter of the performing arts, I am hugely excited about this project. It is realistic, achievable, and will deliver a theatre in the heart of the city and in our cultural centre. This is excellent news for all performers and lovers of Theatre in Gibraltar. I can’t wait to get onto that stage!