PLANS to create a new outdoor space at one of York’s top cultural venues have been unveiled.

The scheme will see York Theatre Royal’s outdoor patio area improved with a new ramp to make it more accessible, tables and chairs and an outdoor performance space.

The proposals will see the area between the Theatre Royal and the De Grey Rooms in St Leonard’s Place upgraded, with new plants and easier access for disabled people, people with pushchairs and other visitors.

Tom Bird, chief executive of York Theatre Royal, said: “We’re aiming to create a new outdoor space for the people of York. The patio, overlooked by both York Minster and Patrick Gwynne’s iconic 1967 theatre foyer, will be a refreshed, welcoming and verdant urban space for all the community to use.”

Planning documents say the work will “improve the offer to visitors for use for serving refreshments and outdoor performance”.

As part of the plans, one tree could be cut down under the recommendation of tree experts who say it is touching the De Grey Rooms building and may be causing damage.

The new ramp would be built running along the ginnel alongside the De Grey Rooms.

Planning documents say: “As one of the oldest theatres in the UK, York Theatre Royal has a rich, interesting history dating back to 1744.

“In 2015 the theatre underwent a £5 million redevelopment including the front of house areas which were redesigned to create a new, welcoming box office and cafe areas with seating in the glass fronted colonnade and improved access throughout the foyer.”

The site was formerly known as the remains of St Peter’s Hospital dating back to the 12th century and there is part of an undercroft of the former hospital in the basement.

The first theatre on the site opened in 1744, according to Historic England records. It was rebuilt and enlarged in 1879 to 1880 and the interior was remodelled in 1901 to 1902.

The building is Grade II-listed. City of York Council archaeology team says the patio proposals do not look intrusive.