Rebuild Timeline

Over the past four decades, we've extended the building many times to create the Arts Centre you know today. The Warwick 20:20 Project is a bold vision to expand further, to help us welcome even more people.

But it's not just about updating a 40 year old building. It's about making our gallery and foyer accessible to everyone. Increasing the number of cinema screens for you to watch what you love. And giving you better food choices to enjoy.

Sept 2017 – Sept 2018

This was the year that our ambitious Warwick 20:20 Project started. It began with the Theatre, Studio Theatre, Music Centre and main foyer closing.

With the theatres closed, we built an impressive 300 seat temporary theatre, named 'Goose Nest Theatre' by our students. It staged professional and student performances, including the original stage version of Fleabag and Fishamble’s Silent, as well as our family Christmas show.

While performances continued in the temporary theatre, we re-wired our 40 year old building and mended our leaky roof. We refurbished the main foyer, replaced the seating in the theatre and upgraded the ventilation in the theatre and studio.

Sep 2018 – Jan 2019

With an ambitious timeline for phase one and an old building, inevitably the work took a little longer than anticipated. We completed the refurbishment work in early September and then spent a few months solving some unexpected hiccups.

Jan 2019 – Mar 2020

The Cinema, Gallery and Bookshop closed so that demolition could begin to make way for the foundations of the new, extended building.

On the other side of the Arts Centre, our refurbished Theatre reopened, alongside a new Creative Learning Space. The Music Centre returned to its former corner of Warwick Arts Centre, and we moved the Café Bar into the old Le Gusta restaurant space.

We continued our programme in the Theatre, Studio, Helen Martin Studio and Butterworth Hall. There were lots of diversions and inconveniences, but we made it through with fortitude and patience, until…

Mar 2020 – Jun 2021

March 2020 came and the global pandemic hit. Like all arts organisations we were forced to close our doors. Fortunately, the building work was able to continue once new safety guidelines were put into place. The structure of the new building emerged, with its gold façade facing Gibbet Hill Road.

Although no one knew the closure would last so long, behind the scenes, with all staff working from home, we worked to ready ourselves for re-opening in time for Coventry’s year as U.K. City of Culture. Only slightly later than planned, the building was completed and officially handed back to us by the contractors Willmott Dixon in June 2021.

Jun – Sep 2021

Three new cinemas, new ground floor gallery and returning retail...

We also ran some socially distanced performances and are underway with two community projects – Playing Out and Curious Objects.

Oct 2021

We reopened our doors to the public on Fri 1 October, followed by a week of celebrations and activities for all ages.

We know there is more to do to Welcome everyone back into the building, and we're grateful to everyone who joined us.

Our full programme can be found here: What's On

Jan 2022

More is coming soon...
A close up of the red cinema chairs and steps
Comfy grey chairs along the upper balcony of the Arts Centre
A close up of some projectionist equipment
One of Warwick Arts Centre's brand new cinema screens