A ONCE iconic theatre and concert hall is to be returned to its former glory, thanks to a £4m lottery grant.

Millions of pounds have already been spent on the restoration of the Grade II-listed, art deco Globe Theatre on Stockton High Street but work had stalled.

Now, the Heritage Lottery Fund has granted £3,992,000 which will mean the theatre can re-open as the biggest indoor performance space between Newcastle and Leeds.

It will also mean the creation of 64 jobs.

It is hoped the 2,500 capacity venue, where The Beatles played on the night President Kennedy was shot in 1963, will help breathe new life into the High Street.

Owners, Jomast originally expected to spend £4m on re-opening the building, which has stood empty since closing as a bingo hall in 1997.

However, it was in a worse than expected condition and has cost more than expected to restore.

The current 1935 Globe building would have re-opened in a reduced form without the HLF money, but can now be fully revamped - including the restoration of its art deco features.

It is hoped it will once again open its doors in 2016 and attract 82,500 visitors a year for 65 annual music, comedy and other shows.

That could lead to an extra £2.5m a year coming into Stockton’s economy.

The Trustees of the Globe Stockton Foundation said: "This is fantastic news for Stockton and the wider region."

Leader of Stockton Council, Bob Cook, said: “It is very exciting news as it means the stunning, art deco elements of the building are one step closer to being restored to create a spectacular music venue.”

James Wharton, MP for Stockton South, said: “The Globe is an important part of our High Street and I know many residents will welcome it being brought back to life.”

The Globe Stockton Foundation is in overall charge of making sure the project is delivered, in partnership with Stockton council and Jomast.

Plans to restore the theatre, which hasn’t been used as a performance space since Status Quo were the last act to play there in 1975, were first revealed in 2009.

The original Globe was built as a cinema in 1913 but it was destroyed and rebuilt twice before the current building opened in the 1930s.

In its heyday famous acts like Cliff Richard and The Rolling Stones performed and The Shadows are purported to have written Summer Holiday in the orchestra pit.