EAST Ayrshire’s most iconic Theatre is at major risk and needs multi-million pound repairs to be saved.

Kilmarnock’s iconic Palace Theatre and Grand Hall have been flagged up as in danger with crumbling stonework and rain leaking in.

It will cost between £6 million to £8m to ensure the long-term future of the landmarks, according to an East Ayrshire Council report.

Now the theatre could be forced to close for a year to allow essential work to be carried out.

So far, protective netting has been placed over vulnerable stonework.

A report on the condition of council buildings, which will go before councillors this week, flagged the theatre and hall up as ‘red’ which means they are “underperforming”.

The report said: “The two red flagged buildings requiring major investment to improve are the Palace Theatre and Grand Hall.”

The paper said they are “both landmark buildings within central Kilmarnock”  and “contribute significantly to the architectural heritage of the town centre.”

Conservation architects said a new drainage system is necessary to divert rainwater away.

Once the leakage problem is sorted out, the stonework will be able to dry which will then allow it to be fixed up.

Drainage work costing £200,000 could start this year.

Other improvements needed in the long-term include work on the theatre ceiling and upgrade of mechanical and electrical installation.

The council report said: “It is currently estimated that the cost of these together with works to the external fabric, drainage and internal alterations and remodelling will be in the region of £6 to 8 million.”

All building work needs the approval of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and Historic Environment Scotland.

Major refurbishment and maintenance has taken place over the decades.

In 2011, £1.4m was spent on roofing, stonework and refurbishment.

The theatre would have to close for a year to get a facelift.

The report added: “It should also be noted that the extent of internal works would require the planned closure of the building for about a year and would require consultation.”