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Queen's Theatre in Barnstaple suffers flood damage following heavy rainfall

The venue has been hit badly by heavy rainfall in the area

Queens Theatre, Barnstaple
© SMJ / Queens Theatre, Barnstaple

Queen's Theatre in Barnstaple has been hit by floods following heavy rainfall in the area, venue owners Selladoor Worldwide have said.

With over 50 emergency calls made in the area last weekend and throughout the start of this week, the theatre is said to have sustained damage to its recently restored roof, with equipment in its technical store rooms and substage also compromised.

Stuart Shanks, director of venues at Selladoor said yesterday: "On Monday the Queen's Theatre, Barnstaple suffered damage due to flooding from the horrid weather. This is a significant blow to this wonderful theatre which comes on top of the enormous impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Our venue team, led by Debi Summers and JJ Powell have been working tirelessly over the past 24 hours assessing, testing and repairing the damage which the building has suffered so as to make sure it is back to its regal self as quickly as possible."

Areas of Barnstaple were said to be submerged in up to three feet of water over the past few days, with residents describing rainfall as 'apocalyptic'.

David Hutchinson, CEO for Selladoor, said: "This unexpected emergency comes at a particularly sensitive moment for the Queens and the wider organisation, as we prepare our North Devon bid for Recovery Support from the Government after 6 months of closure due to Covid.

"Our incredible team in North Devon, and venues leadership will focus on ensuring we repair the damage as quickly as we can and ensure this 68 year old building, with origins dating back to 1435, is brought back full health so we can continue to focus on re-emerging from lockdown to serve the people of North Devon with a thrilling theatre offering."

The 685-seater venue had to cancel its annual pantomime earlier this year due to uncertainty surrounding the pandemic.

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