Warwick Arts Centre submits plans for major redevelopment

Three year project to create visionary complex.

Warwick Arts Centre has submitted a detailed planning application to extend its existing building and create a redeveloped cultural and creative venue for the region.

Warwick Arts Centre 20:20 Capital Project aims to refresh, renew and redevelop the existing building, which was constructed in 1974, and create a modern, updated, larger space in which to continue the organisation’s distinctive, creative, artistic and cultural programme.

The project will involve an essential upgrade to the building, plus a new build to house three HD digital auditoria, a large ground floor gallery ready to exhibit some of the very best contemporary art, sculpture and photography and a spacious new-look foyer offering a welcoming environment. The plans include open spaces for eating, drinking and socialising; and the foyer will be designed to showcase the very best in art and entertainment.

The new building will be fully accessible, environmentally sustainable and a hub for international class digital art, exhibitions and performances.

Scheduled to take three years to complete, with the building open throughout, the first stage of the project is planned to start in October 2017. Warwick Arts Centre will continue to provide audiences with a full programme of events and shows taking place both within the venue and in an onsite temporary theatre.

Alan Rivett, Director at Warwick Arts Centre, says: “In October 2017 we will start investing in our future as we embark on an ambitious three year building project. Since opening in 1974 we have welcomed more than 10 million visitors through Warwick Arts Centre’s doors and have established ourselves as major artistic venue across the region and the UK.

“For over forty years we have continually evolved and adapted ensuring that we have always been at the forefront of presenting the very best in arts and entertainment, and our commitment to our diverse audiences within Coventry and Warwickshire and further afield has always been at the heart of everything we do. The next three years will see exciting changes and by autumn 2020 we will be a much bigger and better Warwick Arts Centre.”

Andrea Pulford, Project Director says: “It has taken a lot of time and hard work to make sure this proposal has the excellent credentials it has and I am delighted that we are now at the stage of seeking detailed planning permission. Parts of the existing building do not meet modern day building standards, so it is vital that the development takes place. The project will be completed in two stages over three years; with maintenance to the oldest part of the building taking a year and the dynamic new-build taking two years.

“However, we have been careful to ensure that building works have been planned to allow us to keep the building open throughout. The finished venue will benefit not only our local communities, students, teaching and support staff on campus, but will enable Warwick arts centre to become a major cultural provider in the region and also make a positive impact on the UK arts industry as a whole.”

While some venues will be temporarily closed at certain times over the three year period; the signature Butterworth Hall and the Helen Martin Studio will be open throughout, and all spaces within the building will be used in a number of new and innovative ways. In addition, there will be a temporary theatre onsite.

Full plans and a timeline of activity will be available to view on Warwick Arts Centre’s website soon.