WORK to update a historic theatre in the heart of Durham is expected to be completed this summer with the venue set to re-open in October.

The £2.4m project to redevelop The Assembly Rooms Theatre will improve disabled access to the 220-seat venue, restore the original ceiling, and refurbish its box office area.

Renovations to the playhouse will also include improvements to the workshop, dressing room and toilet facilities, with additional work to the windows, roof and building decoration.

The work at the 150-year-old theatre is the latest addition to ENGIE’s works programme with Durham University, that runs until 2020 and has already included; a £500k refurbishment of teaching spaces at the School of Education, and a £1m contract to reconfigure the Psychology building and Rowan House, which has been nominated for a Considerate Constructors Scheme 2019 National Site Award.

ENGIE spokesman Mark Kearney said: “We’re delighted to be leading this upgrade project to benefit the students and the local community.”