The reopening of Catford’s Broadway Theatre reopening is set to be delayed for at least another year until autumn 2022.  

The change means the Grade II listed theatre will be closed for the majority of Lewisham’s Borough of Culture year.  

Lewisham Council is planning urgent works on the building, including re-wiring the electrics, installing a new fire alarm system and CCTV cameras, replacing lighting, and general repairs and redecoration.  

See related: Broadway Theatre Catford 'must close' for safety works

The works were initially planned to take place between this year and next, and estimated to cost between £4 and £5 million. 

But officers later found the cost of the works would be “much higher than the original budget”.  

The delay follows a “high-level review” of the council’s general fund capital programme, during which the council tried to find extra funding for the project.  

Some unallocated funds were found, but according to the council: “The period of time taken to undertake the review of the capital programme and the approval of the budget has meant the programme for delivery of works at the theatre has been pushed back.  

“It is anticipated, subject to no further delays that the works will complete by late autumn 2022. 

“Whilst it is not ideal that the theatre will be shut for part of the Borough of Culture year, often place-based years of culture include a high-profile capital project which opens at some point during the year; providing a good demonstration of legacy.  

“The autumn season for the theatre is always the busiest, and an October opening would allow for an autumn season culminating with pantomime to mark the end of the year of Borough of Culture programme.” 

Officers looked into phasing the works, but found it wasn’t a viable option because of higher costs and having to do health and safety works before any reopening.   

The council also says the works are too urgent to delay until after the Borough of Culture.  

The works are expected to take about 12 months to complete and work is set to begin in autumn 2021. 

But the council has warned that “due to the complexity of the building and its heritage and Grade II listing works will not necessarily be straight forward which may cause further delays”.  

On January 13, mayor and cabinet approved a report on the revised plans, and backed finding a principal contractor for the works, while extending its contract with consultant Purcell at a cost of £607,605.  

Presenting the details, joint cabinet member for culture, jobs and skills Cllr Andre Bourne said: “The works will ensure the building is fit for purpose, meets current regulations, and is compliant to function as a public venue.  

“Officers will continuously review the works programme and critical dates to ensure this complex project to revitalise our Grade II listed theatre is achieved on time and is part of our Borough of Culture legacy.”