Three Lottery-funded London venues are set to open within the next month, though all three have faced set-backs in their development.
Hackney Empire re-opens on January 28 following a £15m renovation. Major elements of the refurbishment include a new orchestra pit, backstage facilities, better access for disabled people, and education and hospitality spaces, which are due to be completed later in the spring. The theatre was previously scheduled to open in September 2003, but this was delayed following the financial collapse of the main contractor undertaking the building work. Camden Arts Centre (pictured), a contemporary visual arts centre, is set to open the following day, with enhanced gallery spaces, a new café and bookshop, and studio facilities for painting, drawing and ceramics. However, the Centre is still £250,000 short of its £4.2m fundraising target, and some planned events and shows may not go ahead without it. Meanwhile, the reopening by English National Opera of the restored London Coliseum, originally set for February 7, has been put back by two weeks to February 21. Two weeks of performances are having to be cancelled.