• Lindum is replacing an ageing flat roof and updating drainage systems
  • The work was funded by the government’s Youth Investment Fund 
  • It is part of a wider scheme to secure the future of the building

A £3.5 million scheme to replace the roof of The Cresset building in Peterborough is now underway.

Local construction company Lindum Group expects to be on site at the venue in Rightwell until March 2025.

Its team is replacing most of the ageing flat roof with a new pitched standing seam structure, along with reroofing several of the remaining flat roofs while also improving the building’s drainage system.

The work is part of a £5.1m project to secure the long-term future of The Cresset building, which was made possible by a grant from the Youth Investment Fund.

Lindum Group MD Darren King said: “The work we are doing will improve the fabric of the building, but it will also uplift and update its appearance too. It’s quite a significant project and will involve replacing some existing flat roofs with pitched, resurfacing others and re-routing and replacing old drainage channels throughout the building.

“The Cresset is only six miles from our offices in Newark Road and its work has been enjoyed by our employees for many years. We are really pleased we can help ensure it remains part of the community for years to come.”

The Cresset is a trading subsidiary of YMCA Trinity Group, a charity supporting young people across Cambridgeshire and Suffolk. It currently works with up to 2,000 young people each year through performing arts programmes.

The YIF money will help the charity to extend and increase its performing arts opportunities at the Peterborough venue.

In addition to the arts-based activity, a new programme of youth work is being developed, working with young people to create activities and opportunities for them to participate and gain skills, confidence, and learning.

The capital funds will be used to make improvements to The Cresset building. These include:
·        Replacing the roof and drainage over the whole building
·        Replacing the existing theatre seating
·        Installing an accessible theatre dressing room space
·        A new lighting rig and environmentally sustainable theatre lighting
·        A stage lift to allow accessible performance opportunities

Darren Buckman, Head of Cresset Operations said: “We’re delighted to be working with Lindum on this project. The Cresset is a busy building, with a huge range of activities and customers under its roof every day, so the planning of the programme of works has been crucial to minimise the impact on our customers, tenants, and partners.

“Lindum have been incredibly supportive of this, and their expertise and understanding of the building has been invaluable.”

The Cresset was one of 46 venues across the country to receive grants from the government’s Youth Investment Fund last March.

At the time, Culture Secretary, Lucy Frazer MP, said: “I want every young person to have the opportunity to access the kinds of life-changing activities which expand their horizons and allow them to develop vital life skills.

“The National Youth Guarantee will provide these opportunities and support young people with access to regular club activities, adventures away from home and volunteering opportunities.

“We are supporting this with an investment to create or renovate spaces for youth clubs and activities to support opportunities for thousands of young people across the country who would otherwise miss out.”

Lindum recently completed work at Peterborough’s Key Theatre following the discovery of Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) in September last year. The team worked 12-hour shifts alongside subcontractors to install a supportive timber frame and get the venue open in time for Panto season.

What is a Cresset?

The name ‘Cresset’ refers to a basket of fire kept continuously alight and placed at the focal point of a medieval community.

Around it, people gathered for their meetings and discussions; from it, they took fire to their own homes to provide heat and light.

Like its namesake, The Cresset Theatre was designed to sit at the heart of the community, offering a wide range of services for local residents and visitors. It was created in the 1970s by Sir Harold Haywood and was developed and built by multiple organisations, including Peterborough City Council, Peterborough Development Corporation, Cambridgeshire County Council and several voluntary organisations.

It was officially opened on 22nd March, 1978, by HM The Queen. The Queen attended with Prince Philip and toured the building, meeting staff, volunteers and clients before unveiling a commemorative plaque in The Cresset reception.