We've got some good news to share.
We're set to begin a multi-million pound redevelopment project to transform and future-proof our Grade II-listed arts centre, with construction work starting in November 2020 and our building set to reopen in July 2021. The work is largely being funded by £2.1 million from the Arts Council England’s Large Capital Grants scheme, funded by the National Lottery, and £1.25 million from Haringey Council.
The wide-ranging redevelopment across our building will focus on improved accessibility, better audience experience, modernised studios, flexible working environments and a dramatically expanded foyer space, making sure we're fit for a post-Covid world and keep our position as the UK’s leading venue for contemporary circus and creative learning.
The project will be overseen by architects Citizens Design Bureau, best-known for their award-winning work on the Royal Court Theatre. The firm’s director Katy Marks was Project Architect on the redevelopment of the Everyman Theatre in Liverpool, which won the 2014 Stirling Prize for best new building – the UK’s highest architectural accolade.
I’m thrilled that we can carry out this work to make the building fit for a post-Covid future and give all of our users the building they deserve
Monique Deletant, Executive Director of Jacksons Lane
We're going to benefit from the expertise of Professor David Porter, the distinguished Highgate-based architect, former president of the Architectural Association and recently appointed Chair of our Board of Trustees, who will help steer the organisation through the capital process.
After Arts Council England and Haringey Council funding for the redevelopment was ringfenced last summer and winter, respectively, building work was due to start in 2021. It has now been brought forward to minimise the time we're closed to the public, making the best possible use of a time in which the country’s arts venues face economic crisis.
Highlights of our redevelopment include:
- a new lift to allow wheelchair access to Studio 1, one of London’s biggest rehearsal spaces
- a foyer almost tripled in size and doubled in height to ensure visitor comfort
- sound-proofed and modernised studio spaces
- an enhanced auditorium with increased and better quality seating
- two new riggable spaces for circus artists, developing our status as centre for circus excellence
- accessible and improved dressing rooms for performers
- a striking new entrance through the building’s original church doors
- flexible working space for staff
- a brand new spacious café and bar, which will pleasantly round off all visits to Jacksons Lane.
The capital redevelopment project is being funded by a £2.1 million grant from the Arts Council England’s Large Capital Grants scheme, a £1.25 million grant from Haringey Council, £100,000 from the Garfield Weston Foundation and £60,000 from the Victoria Wood Foundation, as well as a number of other anonymous trusts and donors. We continue to approach trusts, foundations and the general public to ask for support raising the remainder of the funding.
Our Executive Director Monique Deletant said:
“We’re excited by this opportunity to transform Jacksons Lane. We love how much our building is cherished by our communities, but for years they’ve endured noise bleed in studios, buckets catching leaks when it rains and an overcrowded foyer.
"Since we couldn’t reopen in a way that allows social distancing, we’ve been doing all we can to adapt or digitise our outreach and performance work to reach our communities: now I’m thrilled that we can carry out this work to make the building fit for a post-Covid future and give all of our users the building they deserve.”
And our Artistic Director Adrian Berry said:
“I’m happy that we’ve been able to push forward our plans to reshape our beloved building, because it gives us the best chance of emerging from the pandemic as a strong, resilient centre for circus, culture and community engagement. As excited as I am to get started, I’m also keenly aware that we’re a fortunate minority in a sector which is at serious risk. My priority now is planning how we’ll best support artists and companies through our reopening season of shows in 2021.”