THE Whitehill and Bordon Regeneration Company has said it will support the Phoenix Theatre and Arts Centre in years to come - and won’t develop a brand-new facility.

There are plans in the pipeline for “a six-screen cinema and new theatre in the former Sergeant’s Mess” as part of the regeneration company’s town centre proposals.

However, a regeneration company spokesman explained that the cinema and “theatre space” are “two separate entities”, with the latter integrated into the proposed “Makers Market”.

There had been previous talk that the proposed town centre would include a new theatre building.

For the Phoenix, which last week announced plans to renovate its 111-year-old home at Barbados House, support from the town’s biggest developer is welcome.

Phoenix director Rob Allerston agreed it was good thing the theatre will be remain the flagship venue in the town.

“My understanding is that a new theatre is no longer an option for the new town centre and the focus will therefore remain on The Phoenix Theatre and Arts Centre as the main provider for entertainment and the creative arts in Whitehill and Bordon and across East Hampshire generally,” he said.

James Child, project lead for the regeneration company, added: “The new Makers Market, which will form part of the new town centre, will be a community space that can be adapted to host regular events, such as theatre productions and performing arts. We are consulting with the Phoenix Theatre and Arts Centre in developing these plans.

“We are supporting the Phoenix Theatre and Arts Centre in their application for additional funds from East Hampshire District Council, which will come through the s106 funding contributions from developers. We support that additional funds will go towards upgrading the Phoenix’s current premises.”

The theatre needs your help. Initially, people should register their support for the refurbishment, either by e-mailing [email protected] or calling 01420 472664.