A CLACTON arts venue has enjoyed a successful comeback after its extended shutdown due to the pandemic.

The Princes Theatre was forced to close in March 2020 and did not reopen until May this year.

Now that it is up an running, the theatre has hosted 24 shows and nine events, while wedding enquiries and bookings have increased six-fold.

A new website has also been launched.

Councillor Alex Porter, responsible for leisure and tourism, said: “The pandemic has been a tough time for us all, and arts venues such as the Princes Theatre have acutely felt this – so to bounce back so strongly is a really positive sign for both our own venue, and the cultural sector as a whole.

“This is only possible thanks to the support of event organisers, producers and promoters and, most importantly, the paying audience who are showing their support through the box office.

“I also want to say a huge thank you to our theatre staff who not only stepped up to aid the council’s pandemic response – such as by manning welfare helplines – but also played a leading role in supporting the whole industry, locally and nationally in surviving the lockdowns through chairing working groups.

“Not only that, but they have really grabbed the bull by the horns as restrictions lifted to get the Princes Theatre back open, in a Covid-secure way.”

Staff at the theatre are now looking into ways to reduce the venue's environmental impact by replacing older lighting with LED illumination.

Deploying re-useable sticky strips instead of electrical tape, and recycling old banners is also on the theatre's agenda.

Since re-opening, the venue has enjoyed 50 five-star TripAdvisor reviews and almost the same number of flattering Google reviews.

Visit princestheatre.co.uk