WORK totalling £3m to transform the historic Dearne Playhouse is set to begin next month.

The project is part of the Goldthorpe Town Deal, which secured £23.1m investment from the government’s Towns Fund to help regenerate, renew and revitalise Goldthorpe, Thurnscoe and Bolton-upon-Dearne.

Of this, £3m was allocated for a community and cultural hub, which centres on the Dearne Playhouse, formerly the Goldthorpe Miners’ Welfare.

The first phase of the works, completed last year by local contractor O and P Construction, involved installing a new roof, upgrading the theatre equipment, and replacing the sound and lighting systems and curtains.

Now, the second phase of the works, also to be carried out by O and P Construction, will include a complete refurbishment of the basement, creating a new community space and a music rehearsal space that will be open for bookings.

Matthew Stephens, the chairperson of the Goldthorpe Town Deal Board, said: “We are delighted to see the progress of the community and cultural hub, which will be a fantastic asset for Goldthorpe and the wider area.

“The project will not only preserve the heritage of the building, which has been there for 100 years, but also create new opportunities for the community, especially the young people, to get involved in the arts and culture.

“The Playhouse hosted the Heart of the Wood in December, which gave young performers from across the area the chance to be creative and enjoy attending or performing at the theatre.

“We hope Heart of the Wood has created a legacy and will be a catalyst to encourage young people to be creative and enjoy what this cultural hub has to offer.”