Construction of a new theatre on Hope Street, Liverpool has commenced with contractors Gilbert-Ash appointed to carry out the work.

Following the closure of the Everyman in the summer, demolition firm Sloyan Doyle has handled the deconstruction of the original building.

Northern Ireland-based Gilbert-Ash recently completed projects such as the new Lyric Theatre, Belfast and the Grand Opera House, Belfast. Other recent landmark projects include St Andrews University Library and a new archive facility for the British Film Institute.

Raymond Gilroy, contracts director at Gilbert-Ash, said: “This is another key project for Gilbert-Ash in the arts sector and one that will further add to our extensive Theatre portfolio and we look forward to successful contract completion in 2013.”

Designed by architects Haworth Tompkins, the redevelopment of the theatre is part of a £28m scheme by Liverpool & Merseyside Theatres Trust that includes feasibility work on the Playhouse in Williamson Square, which it also owns and operates.

The new Everyman will include:

• A new 400-seat theatre which recreates a ‘thrust’ auditorium
• A new incarnation of the Everyman Bistro
• Technical facilities which will fully support the Everyman’s programme of work
• Dedicated space to house the theatres’ work with their Youth Theatre, schools and community groups
• Front-of-house, catering and bar facilities
• Rehearsal space and production workshops
• A high specification for environmental sustainability including natural ventilation

Funding has mainly come from Arts Council England, the Northwest Regional Development Agency and European Regional Development Fund.

Deborah Aydon, executive director of the Everyman and Playhouse Theatres, said: “We are very grateful to Sloyan Doyle for their work on the deconstruction, which was extremely well-run and, above all, sensitively handled. As the exciting construction phase begins, we are thrilled to be working with Gilbert-Ash on the new Everyman. Having seen the exceptional quality of their work at the Lyric, and discussed our project with them at length, we know they will produce a beautiful and inspiring new theatre for Liverpool.”

The Everyman redevelopment is being documented in many ways, including via a webcam by NW Systems which has been providing real-time footage and time-lapse pictures of the site since June. The live webcam feed can be viewed on the Everyman and Playhouse website here