Customs House theatre in South Shields joins fight against climate change with eco-friendly revamp

The Customs House, South Shields
The Customs House, South Shields Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

A South Tyneside theatre is getting a revamp to make it more eco-friendly in the fight against climate change.

The Customs House in South Shields is using funding from the Theatre Improvement Scheme with the aim to be be more energy efficient.

The plans will upgrade the Building Energy Management System which controls the heating, ventilation, and domestic hot water for the building.

Work on improvements will start in the summer.

Executive Director, Ray Spencer explained: "We know that as an older building, The Customs House isn't as energy efficient as it could be and we want to change that. Last year we arranged to have a carbon and energy survey carried out, and we were delighted to discover that if we made the changes detailed within the survey, we could reduce our carbon footprint by a staggering 43%.

"This funding is the start of our efforts to become greener by upgrading the current Building Energy Management System, which will give us greater control over how we use energy."

To get to the total carbon footprint reduction of 43%, the arts centre is hoping to get further funding in the future to replace the existing heating circulation pumps, which will reduce electricity usage and provide access to low carbon electricity and heating. 

The Customs House is one of eight theatres supported by the Theatre Improvement Scheme.

It is provided by Theatres Trust which is the national advisory public body for theatres and aims to keep theatres accessible for future generations.

In 2020, the Trust committed to five Environmental Principles to reshape its work and help improve the sector's sustainability.

Tom Stickland, Theatres Adviser at Theatres Trust commented: "There is a real appetite amongst theatres to make environmental improvements to their building and we are delighted to be able to support The Customs House in South Shields with the first step in its plan to reduce its carbon footprint".