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Government of

Information and public services for the Island of Jersey

L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

Jersey Opera House refurbishment

​​​The Jersey Opera House building

Jersey Opera House is a Grade 2 listed building which has historical significance for the Island.

In 2020 the building was closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and condition surveys highlighted significant issues and risks with its infrastructure. Work is underway to rectify those issues and to enable the Opera House to reopen safely as Jersey’s principal theatre. 

It is due to reopen in 2025.

A programme of offsite productions is being put on whilst the Opera House is closed. You can get details of the offsite productions on the Jersey Opera House website.

The refurbishment’s objectives

The work’s objectives are to:

  • repair the whole structure to make sure it’s wind and water tight
  • make sure the theatre meets minimum health and safety requirements
  • make sure minimum disability access requirements are met, where practical

The refurbishment is expected to cost £12.7 million. 

It was originally budgeted as £11.7 million over 2023 and 2024, but following the pre-construction enabling works in 2023 (see below) the budget rose to £12.7 million because of increased mechanical and electrical works covering such items as the decarbonisation of the heating and hot water systems, and additional necessary works which came to light. The additional £1m was secured from the Department for the Economy's existing 2023 budget.

The work so far


In 2020, a fire assessment was undertaken and condition surveys on the building’s:

  • fabric
  • mechanical and electrical
  • drains

The Opera House closed in March as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. After the restrictions were lifted it was decided not to re-open due to health and safety concerns.

The States agreed to establish the Fiscal Stimulus Fund to support smaller-scale, agile projects expected to be completed by December 2021. The Opera House project expression of interest in Fiscal Stimulus Fund support, which was accepted.


The business case for the Opera House refurbishment was submitted in 2021 and the recommendation by the Fiscal Stimulus Oversight Group to support the £2.2 million application was approved.

Due to capacity issues, a project manager and quantity surveyor is needed to oversee the project. Colin Smith Partnership (CSP) were identified as the preferred Project Management and Quantity Surveyor partner.

Following discussions between Department for the Economy and CSP, the Department for the Economy requested an extension for the works to June 2022.

The Fiscal Stimulus Oversight Group approved the time extension of scheme completion date to June 2022 and the contracts with CSP were signed.

The tender process is launched to procure an Integrated Design Team to deliver the project. Submissions were reviewed by CSP with their partner HLG, and additional information requested from tenders.


The Department for the Economy recognised that the project fell outside the Fiscal Stimulus Fund requirements, and funding would have to be met from elsewhere. The Minister for Treasury and Resources agreed to project funding from alternative funding sources.

A design team was appointed and updated feasibility work was undertaken. In line with the construction inflation, meeting minimum health and safety requirements pushed costs up to £4.8 million since closure. The Minister for Treasury and Resources agreed to allocation an extra £4.8 million from end of year flexibility.

In July, the Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture considered an option paper to complete all essential works, critical or otherwise, in order that the theatre can fully reopen without the need to close it again to complete works. Total cost for these works £11.5m.

The business case was developed and considered by the Council of Ministers.

Capital cost of £11.5 million for the refurbishment of Jersey Opera House was included in the proposed Government Plan 2023 to 2026.

In December, States members agreed to support funding for Jersey Opera House refurbishment and the first planning application for the theatre submitted.


The first planning application was approved in March 2023​.

In September, Ashbe Construction Limited was appointed as the preferred contractor for the first stage of the refurbishment and then prepared the Opera House for the full refurbishment by removing the internal fixtures and fittings and assessing precisely what would be required during the main phase of the refurbishment.

A second planning application was approved in October 2023.

In November, Ashbe was approved as the preferred contractor for the major works, which will enable the theatre to meet minimum health and safety requirements, disability discrimination criteria (where practical), and put in place decarbonisation measures. 

The revised costs were subsequently approved, and the major works have a completion date of 21 December 2024. Assuming no delay, this is when the Grade 2 listed building will be handed back. 

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