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Plymouth Pavilions invests £500,000 to upgrade arena facilities

New seating, lighting, flooring and fresh decor is planned for Plymouth Pavilions as part of a £500,000 renovations project to mark the venue’s 30th anniversary and 10th year of independent ownership.

The renovations form part of a major investment in the venue totalling more than £1.7 million over the last two years, designed to upgrade and improve the region’s largest indoor area and ensure it offers a modern, welcoming environment for visitors.

Plymouth Pavilions is an unusually large-scale independent venue and hosts international entertainment acts for Plymouth and the wider South West area, including live music, comedy and dance productions, as well as numerous community events, conferences and sporting fixtures, such as the Plymouth City Patriots basketball games.

To celebrate its 10th year of independent ownership and its 30th anniversary, the Pavilions is delivering a £500,000 renovations project to improve the Arena and venue for visitors, which includes:

  • A £225,000 new bar to serve customers on the upper floors which opened in October
  • New removable flat floor seating for the Arena costing circa £160,000, with a contract currently out for tender and works planned to complete by summer 2022
  • Refurbishment of the Arena floor costing £30,000 which will complete in summer 2022
  • Ongoing replacement of all LED lighting
  • Fresh decor for the Arena, completing in summer 2022
  • A new customer-facing PA system, now installed

Other recent upgrades behind the scenes totalling £125,000 include the installation of energy efficient boilers, which are being fitted now, an upgraded alarm system and CCTV system for customer safety, and upgrades to the building management system which are due to complete early next year.

The latest round of improvements follow £1.2million already invested in the Pavilions over the last two years which saw the installation of a new storage unit, replacement chillers, new sprinkler system and new generators.

Sarah Phillips, Plymouth Pavilions CEO, said: “We are very excited to have started delivering major renovations to the Arena and the Pavilions as part of a £500,000 investment to improve the customer experience, with our Upstage Bar already proving popular, and work progressing well on our plans to deliver new seating, refurbished floors and fresh decor.

We’d hoped to have completed these renovations before now, as part of the celebrations for our 30th anniversary, but like many arts venues, the impact of Covid-19 and the resulting UK lockdowns has been huge, and delayed our plans. We are grateful for the support of the Arts Council enabling us to continue operating and to reopen this year, hosting more international live music, comedy and entertainment shows for people to enjoy, and our refurbishment project is now progressing, with all renovations completed by next summer.

This investment will help to ensure the Pavilions can continue offering a first-class entertainment facility for the South West region.

Some of the renovations can already be enjoyed by visitors to the Pavilions, including the newly created Upstage Bar, which opened in former office space on the venue’s upper floors in October, along with new toilet facilities.

The revamped space features dark, polished copper features, antique mirrors and a  striking 16-metre bar inlaid with pennies, and offers an extra bar facility to serve people attending concerts and events at the venue, with views of the Plymouth skyline.

Find out more about upcoming events at Plymouth Pavilions


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