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24 September 2014
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Money
Loadsa money for arts in Leicestershire

£12m confirmed for performing arts centre

by Annie O'Brian
More than a third of the money needed to build Leicester's new performing arts centre has been secured. The Arts Council for England has confirmed its contribution to the project.


Performing Arts Centre

As well as the performing arts and conference centre there will be:

  • a film and media centre providing support for film makers and production companies.
  • a contemporary visual arts centre, with increased space for major contemporary and touring exhibitions, dedicated spaces for education and community work and support for young and emerging artists.
  • a new music venue
  • creative production facilities, including studio space for visual artists, commercial workspace for creative technology, broadcasting and media organisations and subsidised office space for the city’s ‘not for profit’ arts organisations
  • landscaping, public art and the development of public spaces.

Work has already been completed on workshops on the site of an old bus depot. Artists, musicians and people working in other creative industries will be able to rent space in the complex which will offer facilities ranging from rehearsal rooms to computer facilities.

The Arts Council for England has confirmed it will be providing £12 million towards Leicester's £31 million performing arts and conference centre.

The building, which is planned for Halford Street in Leicester city centre, has been designed by Raphael Vinoly.  It will contain a theatre and conference centre. 

Supporters of the project aim to create a "stunning centre for the performing arts". Helen Flach, executive director of Arts Council England continued "Not only will it be a flagship building for the arts in Leicester and the East Midlands, but it will also have an important national and international role."

Mike Candler, project director for the Cultural Quarter said, "I am very happy that we have secured this funding.  It brings the project a step closer and builds confidence in the city."

Designs for the multi-million pound centre - which is due to open to the public in 2006 - were fully revealed earlier this year. The glass-fronted building will feature two auditoria with seating for 350 and 750 people and its unique design enables these performance spaces, the stage and the public foyer to provide 16 different ways to stage shows and performances.

The stage has been placed in the centre of the building at street level. People will be able to look in from outside the building to see sets being built and other backstage activities.

Rafael Viñoly is acclaimed throughout the world for innovative design and interaction with local communities in projects. Other projects he has worked on include:

  • The Kimmel Centre of Performing Arts, Philadelphia (pictured below)
  • Tokyo International Forum
  • a current project for Jazz at The Lincoln Centre in New York.

The remainder of the money for the project is expected from a range of organisations across Leicestershire and England.

last updated: 30/07/04
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