A DEAL has been reached between Monmouthshire and Abergavenny councils which will support a major redevelopment of the town’s Borough Theatre.

The county council is carrying out a refurbishment of the theatre located within the Grade II-listed town hall, which includes replacing old seating, updating the heating and air conditioning system, improving the foyer, increasing the number of toilets, moving the box office and refreshing the backstage area and dressing rooms.

But estimated costs for the work increased by more than £1 million in the autumn, leaving the council facing a funding shortfall of £278,943.

Abergavenny Town Council has now agreed a five-year deal which will see it commit £10,000 each year to support the theatre, which is in addition to a previous contribution of £50,000 towards the refurbishment costs.

Monmouthshire council has already agreed to cover any remaining shortfall towards the project.

Martyn Groucutt, chairman of the town council’s policy and resources committee, said the agreement showed the council’s “commitment to making Abergavenny a centre for the arts”.

“This is a major new partnership for the town,” he said.

“Alongside the fabulous local drama and music groups who have used the Borough Theatre as their base for years, we are looking forward to the return of a wide range of professional theatre and entertainment to Abergavenny.”

The partnership will also see the Borough Theatre and the town’s Melville Centre for the Arts, based in Pen y Pound, collaborate on projects to maximise the impact of the two organisations.

The Borough Theatre is expected to re-open towards the end of the summer following the completion of the revamp.

The venue, which played host to The Beatles in 1963, is used for events such as the town’s food festival and as a base for the oldest amateur pantomime society in Wales.

Cllr Lisa Dymock, Monmouthshire council’s cabinet member for community wellbeing, said: “This deal shows the strength of the relationship between our two councils.

“We are looking forward to developing a strong partnership with the town council to create a theatre of which we will all be proud.”