Planning permission to restore and convert Swansea’s landmark Palace Theatre has been approved.
The listed building will become home to tech, start-up and creative businesses.
The main structure will stay as it is, with the restoration of original features and the reinstatement of others.
A section of tiered seating will be retained to form a social area and presentation space, with the ability to host small-scale events.
The interior will retain the existing floors that look down towards a stage – as theatre audiences once would have done.
Once completed the building will include workspaces for around 130 people.
The multi-million pound plans have been supported by Friends of Palace Theatre Group and a dedicated Facebook page. Feedback has also come from the Theatres Trust and the Victorian Society.
GWP Architecture is leading the Palace Theatre project on behalf of Swansea Council, which acquired the 132-year-old building from private owners.
Council leader Rob Stewart said he was pleased that planning permission had been granted, although listed building consent is still needed.
“The sense of the theatre is to be retained wherever possible, with the opportunity for workspaces overlooking the original auditorium,” he said.
The Palace Theatre is surrounded High Street, Bethesda Street and Prince of Wales Road. Investment is coming to the area, with three large student developments under construction or consented within half a mile.
Cllr Robert Francis-Davies, cabinet member for investment, regeneration and tourism, said: “The new-look Palace will help us continue our work on redeveloping the High Street area and city centre.
“We want the Palace’s renovation to help make it a focal point for small to medium-sized enterprises and start-ups.”
The Palace Theatre staged performances by stars such as Charlie Chaplin and Sir Anthony Hopkins, and was last used 14 years ago as a nightclub.
European and Welsh Government funding is being sought for the project, which the council said could be completed in 2022.