Mercury Theatre, Colchester

Theatre Extension and Redevelopment Project

  • Client
    Colchester Borough Council
  • Contract value
  • Location
  • Sector
  • Architect
    Colchester Borough Homes
  • Project Lead
    Jimmy Harrison
  • Project Manager
    Colchester Borough Homes
  • Contract Type
    JCT SBC with Contractors Design

What did the project involve?

Phelan Construction were thrilled when we were awarded this prestigious local project to completely transform the Mercury Theatre, creating additional rehearsal space, office areas as well a redeveloping the existing FoH areas.

After securing the project through competitive tender and quality evaluation, we then completed significant value engineering to bring the project within budget for the local council.


The works involved the demolition of an existing building before erecting a steel framed structure to house a new large rehearsal space, teaching space and office accommodation in a two-storey building which adjoined the existing theatre.

We then started the process of demolishing the small restaurant to the front and constructing a new extension. We then completely refurbished all FoH areas to create a new reception and box office, large restaurant and bar and refurbish all other areas to make the theatre the premier creative hub in the area.

What challenges did the project team face?

Challenges on this project involved the extensive excavations by Colchester Archeological Trust who uncovered Roman and civil war artefacts as well as preserved mosaics. As a result piling had to be completely redesigned to avoid certain areas and prevent damaging the artefacts. We also continued working throughout the Covid-19 pandemic to deliver the project, whilst adhering to strict government guidance at all times.

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