Building works are now well underway at the Mercury Theatre site and this month has been a very exciting time as we’ve been able to start showing our staff and funders around the site to see the amazing progress made by the Phelan’s Construction team.

Given that the original Mercury Theatre building was completed in 1972, we have long suffered from a building that was almost the opposite of environmentally friendly.

We have been concerned for a long time about our carbon footprint. The old building was heated by only one of the two original boilers that was either on or off.

Luckily, our Mercury Rising redevelopment project means we can change this and make the vital improvements needed to bring our building into the 21st century.

While we were able to install some solar panels two years ago, through this refurbishment we will install many more.

In the future the majority of our power will be green with the Mercury contributing green power to the national grid.

On completion, the Mercury will be the most environmentally friendly building in the Colchester borough.

We are aiming for the European BREEAM environmental standard. Features will include LED lighting throughout the building and on stage, triple glazing throughout, all walls, flooring and ceilings will be triple insulated to store heat and allow maximum light into spaces. We will have the ability to heat and light rooms and areas being used through sensors and a new building management system.

Throughout the building works we are purchasing, where possible, locally made products (for example, our new bricks are from W H Collier of Marks Tey) and as part of our procurement we are ensuring that materials are sustainably sourced.

Our new café/bar will offer locally sourced products celebrating the wonderful produce our region has to offer and we will be single-use plastic free.

We are also aiming to purchase electric vans and vehicles to transport sets, props and costumes and, as we do at present, we will recycle these where we can which not only reduces our carbon footprint but also helps us to save money.

So far, we’ve raised £9.8 million for the project but still have £350,000 to go.

If you’d like to help us build a more sustainable future for our theatre please donate to Mercury Rising by visiting, calling us on 01206 573948 or by popping into our Mercury Tickets shop in Red Lion Yard.

As always, we are very grateful for your support and we can’t wait to welcome you all to the new and improved Mercury Theatre later in the year.