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Burrell Foley Fischer pots win at the Crucible

Burrell Foley Fischer Architects (BFF) has won a competition to renovate and extend the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield - the home of world snooker.

The announcement could put an end to the ongoing debate of whether the Snooker World Championship will continue to be held at the notoriously pokey venue, which has hosted the tournament since 1977.

The 907-seat auditorium was originally designed in 1971 by Renton, Howard, Wood and Associates (now RHWL Architects), and has since been recommended for listing as 'one of the most significant theatres of its generation'.

It has hosted such greats of the game as Steve Davis, Ronnie O'Sullivan and 'Big' Bill Werbeniuk (pictured).

Rumours have been circulating for some time that a new, purpose-built venue could be on the cards, but the announcement of BFF as architect to extend the theatre could finally have quashed such mutterings.

BFF won a competitive interview to undertake a feasibility study for the renovation, improvement and extension of the venue.

Practice principal Mark Foley said: 'We're delighted to be involved in the project. It's a very important building and a very important venue, and we are very excited about it.

'The Snooker World Championships are held there each year, so the work will have to be phased, which will make the project quite demanding, very challenging, but also very exciting.'

BFF is currently waiting for funding to be secured - expected imminently - and to proceed with a planning application.

by Richard Vaughan

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