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Ovalhouse awarded first stage of major Arts Council grant for a new theatre in Brixton

Today we’ve received a major boost in our bid to relocate to a new purpose built home in the heart of Brixton as Arts Council England has announced an initial grant for Ovalhouse of £130,600 as the first stage of an overall £3 million large capital grant proposal to help facilitate the move.

This comes hot on the heels of Lambeth Council’s unanimous decision at the end of last year to grant planning permission for the project and the announcement in September of Ovalhouse alumnus and former 007, Pierce Brosnan’s support of a fundraising campaign that will enable the move.

The development has been made possible by a partnership with the London Borough of Lambeth who have provided a prime site as part of a significant regeneration scheme. The new building will be a fully accessible, fit for purpose and sustainable modern theatre.

Building work for the new home, which is part of a new development on Somerleyton Road and Coldharbour Lane in Brixton, will begin in 2016 with completion in the Spring of 2018. The new venue will offer two theatre spaces plus seven multi-use accessible studios – for rehearsal, participatory work and community activities - and will comprise a significant suite of cultural workspace, bringing jobs and opportunities for small and medium sized enterprises and supporting the already strong cultural sector in Brixton. The flexible theatre spaces will have the facilities needed for artists to make innovative new work and there will also be an increased range of training within the youth leadership programmes, ensuring professional opportunities and cross-transferable skills for local young people. The needs of vulnerable young people will be met in terms of access, safe spaces and purpose-built space, while the building will generate an income stream that will make Ovalhouse resilient and safer from financial shock.

With £6.5 million already raised, a successful Arts Council Award of £3 million would leave a further £2 million to be raised to see the project through to opening.

Ovalhouse have launched a major Capital Campaign to raise the remaining funds, whose strong group of supporters and advocators includes patrons Pierce Brosnan and Paulette Randall MBE.

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Darren Henley, Chief Executive, Arts Council England said:

“This programme is about backing a wide range of really exciting proposals to allow our arts and cultural organisations to thrive, for the benefit of artists and audiences across the country.

“We look forward to seeing the second stages of these applications so that we can help to get these projects off the ground, to help enhance the arts and cultural infrastructure around the country.”


Joyce Wilson, London Area Director, Arts Council England said: 

“Ovalhouse has grand but achievable aims for their new home. The relocation will allow a more accessible building in a growing and vibrant part of Brixton. It will help cement Ovalhouse’s role as a developer of diverse artists and experts of inclusion. We look forward to seeing the second stage of its application so that we can help get this exciting project off the ground, and see its benefits across London.”

Additional information

Full details on our Press Pages

Why are we moving? 

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