Warwick Arts Centre has been invited to apply for £4.2m by Arts Council England’s capital fund it was announced today. It is one of only 11 organisations across England to have been invited to apply to the second stage of the programme.
If successful, the funding will support a major redevelopment of Warwick Arts Centre, cementing the venue’s future as a beacon of culture and creativity for the West Midlands region.
Warwick Arts Centre’s Director, Alan Rivett, says: “The support from Arts Council England’s large capital fund is a real vote of confidence in Warwick Arts Centre, our future and our dedication to the arts, artists and our audiences. If we are successful in stage two of the application process, the funding will allow us to futureproof our building, as well as the work we do; so that our community, students, performers and the arts industry as a whole will benefit.”
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 take three years to complete and 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.
Stuart Croft, Vice Chancellor and President for the University of Warwick, said: “Warwick Arts Centre is a vibrant and significant cultural resource, not just for the Warwick campus, but for our whole city and region. It is greatly valued by students, staff and our whole local community, and it has rightly earned a national reputation. Both as a Vice-Chancellor, and as one of the Warwick Arts Centre’s 229,000 audience members this year, I am delighted by this invitation to bid for capital funds from Arts Council England. Warwick Arts Centre has served its community for over 43 years and this opportunity to gain new capital investment will help it serve that community for many more years.”
The successful stage one applicants will now be invited to complete a stage two application, showing plans at a detailed stage of design and development.
This will allow the Arts Council to assess the projects against criteria including long-term sustainability and resilience, the potential for partnership funding, and whether the organisation is able to manage and deliver the work proposed.
Since 1994 Arts Council England has supported a large number of capital developments with £1.5 billion of Lottery funding. Building projects, both as refurbishments and extensions to existing arts buildings, and entirely new buildings in places where access and engagement in the arts was limited have been supported over the past 23 years.