Fairfield Halls is set to open following a multi-million pound refurbishment, a year later than initially planned.

A £41m investment has transformed the historic venue into the largest multi-disciplinary arts centre in the south east, where in partnership with the Council, operators BH Live will deliver a programme of theatre, music, comedy and family entertainment.

From September 16, Fairfield Halls will relaunch with a week-long series of events, starting with the opening of the 809 seat Ashcroft Playhouse by Dame Judi Dench, followed by a civic opening ceremony with special guests and performances.

BH Live’s Venue and Artistic Director for Fairfield Halls, Neil Chandler added, “Since we were appointed operators of this cherished venue two years ago we have been focusing on understanding what the local community wants and how we can meet those expectations.

"Our varied event, entertainment, community and educational programme coupled with our resident companies, local associations and welcoming new event spaces is the result of that collaboration with our partners, Croydon’s residents and its wider community.

"We can’t wait to open its doors and begin delivering what this venue was created to do; to deliver cultural opportunities, enjoyment and benefit for all.”

The venue in Park Lane has been closed since July 2016 for its makeover, which went £10m over-budget.

It was originally due to be open in autumn 2018, but delays in the work saw the re-opening pushed back a year due to the discovery of asbestos in the 60-year-old building.

On Wednesday 18 September, the UK’s oldest chamber orchestra, London Mozart Players (LMP), will return for a celebratory gala opening concert, marking their 70th anniversary and 30th year as Croydon’s resident orchestra.

The building will be open to the public during the day throughout next week, with a programme of free entertainment in the Arnhem Foyer.

This includes a free lunchtime community choir session, Croydon’s Windrush exhibition, and a series of tours with the opportunity to see the building.

The refurbishment is the first phase in the development of a new cultural quarter in Croydon’s town centre.

Council leader Tony Newman said: “Fairfield Halls has long held a special place in many peoples’ hearts.

"We are delighted to have invested in this magnificent building, restoring it to its former glory but most importantly, to have created an arts centre that reflects and delivers for our wonderfully diverse community.

"We look forward to working with BH Live and the companies-in-residence throughout this exciting new chapter of Fairfield’s history.”