Central spreads to Bankside

The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama is to branch out from its Swiss Cottage base to open new studios near the Globe Theatre on Bankside.

The refurbishment of the former warehouse building is under way and the studios should open in January.

The scheme, which is still to be costed, is allied to the £16.7m latest phase of the school’s expansion plans which involved building a new North Block opposite Hampstead Theatre which should be completed in two years’ time. It is the fifth and final phase of development that began in 1991.

“Taking on new premises in Bankside does more than simply replace accommodation that we are demolishing to make way for our new building at Swiss Cottage’ said Central’s principal Professor Gavin Henderson. “It will be an added dimension to our estate, placing Central at the heart of a burgeoning new ‘Off West End’ theatrical community. 

“The Menier Chocolate Factory, Southwark Playhouse, Union Theatre, and Nick Hytner and Nick Starr’s new theatre are all close at hand.  Symbolically we will be on the site of the very foundation of the English Playhouse with the Globe and Rose theatres, and with Tate Modern growing new performance 

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