According to documents from Dartford Borough Council council, The Orchard Theatre in Dartford could be closed for up to a year.

The closure comes after the concerns about the stability of its reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) roof.

Initially, the Orchard Theatre in Dartford suspended its performances for a month following a September inspection, but it was later announced that the closure would be extended until at least October 31.

The council documents suggest that the theatre "may remain closed for approximately 12 months."

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This extended closure is expected to have a significant impact on the revenue for Trafalgar Theatres, which manages the venue on behalf of the council, and the council itself.

It will also affect the local economy and result in the loss of public services.

The report emphasises the need for "urgent and extensive works" to make the theatre operational again, as its roof structure is deemed fragile and at risk of sudden collapse.

The theatre will not be able to reopen until the RAAC panels in the roof are replaced, as it is considered a hazardous structure in its current state.

In a statement on its website, the council expressed its commitment to minimizing disruption to the theatre, its staff, and local businesses.

The statement reads: “It is estimated that the theatre could be closed for approximately 12 months with a potential for a significant loss in revenue/financial risk for both Trafalgar Theatres and the Council as well as causing an economic impact on the Town Centre and the public loss of service.”

The statement also underlines the council's dedication to providing entertainment for commercial and community groups, as it will be “widening residents” access to culture and arts in the Town Centre.

The theatre had a significant impact on the community, with 215,523 people attending between 2022-23, and more than 60.5 per cent of ticket sales were from Dartford residents, as reported in the document.