Seventeen months have passed since we last had construction work on site at our 19th Century Town Hall home. The £13.3 million Building Project has been under way since 2007, developing our theatre and public spaces, and restoring and repairing our Grade II* listed building, but the end is coming into sight; after a year and a half of intense planning, the final phases have started.Enabled by major grants from Arts Council England and Heritage Lottery Fund, and support from generous individuals, trusts and foundations, we have entered the large-scale tranches of works.
For the rest of 2014, we are focusing our efforts on the rear of Battersea Arts Centre, around the Grand and Lower Halls. Externally, we’re repairing and restoring the roofs, windows, brickwork and stonemasonry, much of which has not had TLC since construction in 1893. The quality of Victorian workmanship has to be admired as 125 years of weather and use have been remarkably served by this beautiful edifice.
Internally, several key aims are being met:
- Moving the Lower Entrance back to its original location and restoring the glass mosaic that leads visitors into the Lower Hall
- Removing non-original walls from the Lower Foyer, creating a bright, open and vibrant space
- Restoring original doorways and corridors to create more open routes and easier flow for building users and visitors
- Adding a lift from the Lower Foyer to Grand Hall to provide assisted access and easy movement between the two floors for heavier items
- Modernising the toilet facilities and fitting new accessible facilities to match the work we did at the front of the building in 2013
- Creating new offices and meeting spaces
- New level access entrances to the rear of the building
We have a number of key fundraising moments during the project, one of which is to raise £200,000 by Christmas in order to start the next phase in January.
I’ll be posting images and updates here on our blog throughout 2015 and early 2016 as we continue the work towards completion. We’ll still be running a full artistic programme and our regular activities, and this is an exciting time as we see our building develop around us, and share that adventure with all our visitors, audiences, artists, partners and friends.
You can join the conversation here on our blog, or contact us via email on firstname.lastname@example.org