A HISTORIC town centre theatre has announced its autumn programme as part of its phased reopening following lockdown.

The Civic put all its activities on hold in March, with months of cancelled events costing around £300,000 in revenue as most staff were put on furlough leave.

With lockdown measures easing, Civic bosses have announced that its first exhibit will be open to the public on October 9.

From next week, the ‘Northern Town’ exhibition, by artists Patrick Murphy and Anton West depicting the realities of living in the north, will be presented at the theatre until December 12.

The theatre’s first live show has been confirmed for November 20 as local folk artists Kathryn Roberts and partner Sean Lakeman mark 25 years of music.

Strict social distancing guidelines will be implemented, including compulsory face coverings, hand sanitising, one-way systems and limiting the lift to one person or social bubbles at a time.

Spokesperson Amy Forde hopes the reopening of live theatre and exhibitions will bring joy to people across the borough during a difficult period.

She said: “We are really pleased to announce we are back with a handful of live performances and exhibitions to engage and entertain our audiences throughout the autumn.

“With everything that has happened this year, we hope this brings the people of Barnsley some joy and creative soul-searching during this still difficult time.

“This year, perhaps more than any other, we have all spent a lot more time in our hometowns and local communities.

“Northern Town helps us reflect upon and celebrate our towns.

“Of course, we have had to put in several changes to keep everyone safe and it is important to us that we put people’s mind at ease before they return.”