Ovalhouse gets ACE go-ahead

Grant puts new Brixton theatre on course for 2018 opening.

The Ovalhouse arts centre is on course for opening its new theatre in Brixton in 2018 thanks to an Arts Council lottery grant.

The initial £130,600 is the first stage of a £3m large capital grant which will see the appeal for funding to within £2m of the £11.5m target. Work is expected to begin later this year.

The new theatre in Coldharbour Lane, Brixton in South London, is a partnership with the London Borough of Lambeth, which has given planning permission, and will provide two theatre spaces and seven studios, creating a community arts centre.

The Ovalhouse will leave its home of 45 years opposite The Oval cricket ground, where its patron, the former Bond actor Piers Brosnan, first began acting.  "2016 has started where 2015 left off, with great news for Ovalhouse" he said. "This, combined with the approval of planning permission, means that we are in a really strong position to make this vital move happen. I feel that we are casting a line into the future that will enable Ovalhouse to continue to have the same kind of profound positive influence on the lives of young people as it had on mine."

Ovalhouse's director, Deborah Bestwick, said: "The vision for a new Ovalhouse in Brixton is built on the aspirations of artists, young people, community members and the council. You spend exciting years dreaming of the space and facilities that will make it all possible. 17 years of testing and re-testing our needs, our budgets, and what it takes to create a sustainable theatre for the needs of artists and audiences now and in the future, for the modern financial climate. Now we can get on and actually do it!"


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