Worcester’s historic Scala Theatre is at the centre of a multi-million pound regeneration project in the city centre.

The project, which has been scaled back massively since it was first announced in 2020, will see the listed building transformed into a multi-purpose arts venue.

The Corn Exchange building next door will become the theatre cafe.

Worcester News: The stage area will be revampedThe stage area will be revamped (Image: NQ)

We were given the chance to take a look inside the buildings, which have both been empty for a number of years.

The Scala, on the corner of Angel Place and Angel Street, opened in 1922 and was operated as a cinema until its closure in 1973.

Worcester News: The original staircase is being keptThe original staircase is being kept (Image: NQ)

Parts of the building have since been home to restaurants, beauty salons and a Shipley’s Arcade - and old bingo machines can still be found in the stage area.

The neighbouring Corn Exchange opened in 1848 and in the past century or so has been used as an auction room, boxing arena, carpet warehouse, sports club, Habitat store and most recently an Ask Italian restaurant.

Worcester News: The entrance area will be opened up to create the new foyerThe entrance area will be opened up to create the new foyer (Image: NQ)

The plan had been to create a 500-seat theatre but spiralling costs forced the city council into a rethink.

Now, the idea is to restore the original stage area at the rear of the building and install retractable seating.

Worcester News: This area will become a cinema screenThis area will become a cinema screen (Image: NQ)

This venue is likely to have a capacity of about 50 or 60 seated or standing room for about 180 when the seating is pushed back.

Also on the ground floor will be a smaller, multi-purpose facility called The Box, which the council says will provide arts groups with a space for exhibitions, digital projects and more.

Worcester News: The Corn Exchange will become the theatre cafeThe Corn Exchange will become the theatre cafe (Image: NQ)

A cinema with room for about 150 people will be located upstairs in part of the original auditorium.

The foyer area will remain on the corner of Angel Place, where the plan is to increase the street level to provide an accessible entrance.

Worcester News: An artist's impression of what the Scala will look likeAn artist's impression of what the Scala will look like (Image: Burrell Foley Architects)

Inside, a dropped ceiling and wall put in by Shipley’s will be removed to reveal a decorative ceiling and the Scala’s original staircase.

The new Scala plans are set to go before Worcester City Council’s planning committee later this month.