Bridgwater is home to the oldest dedicated arts centre in England, founded by The Arts Council in 1946, and it’s now set to be refurbished thanks to the Bridgwater Town Deal investment. This exciting development will restore and enhance the historic Grade I listed building, elevating its internal space to create a more accessible and adaptable venue capable of hosting a diverse range of cultural events, while opening up flexible gallery, exhibition, meeting and artist spaces on the upper floors.
Over the years, Bridgwater Arts Centre has presented an exceptional theatre programme while offering a wide range of classes spanning various artistic disciplines. Now, thanks to the forthcoming improvements, its facilities will become more accessible, ensuring that everyone can enjoy the small-scale independent artists and visiting productions that will be hosted at the Arts Centre.
Highlights of the project will include improved accessibility to the ground floor, with upgrades to both the entrances to create a better flow around the building. Improvements to the gallery and exhibition spaces will allow for more versatile facilities and showcases of art, and the auditorium will be extended to create a larger scene-dock, chair and equipment storage, enabling the Arts Centre to accommodate a broader range of performances and events.
The main auditorium will be redecorated and additional soundproofing added to enhance the acoustics within the venue. New sound, lighting and audio-visual equipment will be installed, integrating its activities with other town centre venues and events, as well as enhancing the overall theatre experience for visitors and residents alike.
The Town Deal investment recognises the community’s dedication to preserving the future of this cultural gem. Having recently celebrated its 75th anniversary, the local community can now look forward to a more inclusive, vibrant and engaging Arts Centre that will continue to play a pivotal role in Bridgwater’s cultural landscape.