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Southwark Playhouse could get new £10m venue near London bridge

Southwark Playhouse could get a new 400-seat theatre near London Bridge as part of a huge new tower block that will stretch to 22 storeys tall.

The theatre, which is also getting a new venue near Elephant and Castle, said the deal would allow them to put on a lot more events through the year.

The new Colechurch House, owned by property developer CIT, would have two theatres, made up of 250 seats and 150 seats respectively.

Southwark Playhouse artistic director and CEO, Chris Smyrnios, said: “The move back to London Bridge has been a long time in the making, with many twists and turns. This deal with CIT brings us back to the London Bridge area and gives us a brand new venue that provides us with much needed capacity, critical to ensuring the future of our organisation.”

How the new tower could look on Tooley Street

The new building, which would largely be made up of offices and shops, isn’t confirmed yet because the planning application is still being considered by Southwark Council’s planning officers.

If approved, CIT would knock down the current 1960s block opposite London Bridge to build the new tower.

The application on the council’s website has ten comments objecting and five in favour.

But Kieron Williams, leader of Southwark Council, called the arrangement “a great deal for the Playhouse”.

Cllr Williams added: “We are pleased to have been able to support them through the pandemic and to help them secure this deal with CIT.

“At a time when theatres in London have faced unparalleled challenges it is great to see the Playhouse not just survive, but double in size. This will significantly increase the opportunities the Playhouse can offer to local Southwark residents and new and emerging theatre talent.”

New 27-storey tower approved near London Bridge station

CIT have several plans for big new buildings in the area around Borough and Bankside. The developer’s 27-storey office block plan for Becket House, a former Home Office building on St Thomas street, the other side of London Bridge station, got the go-ahead in July.

Another large tower on the site of Vinegar Yard, also on St Thomas Street, is also awaiting a decision from Tooley Street planners.


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