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Theatres, the arts and entertainment

Bringing footfall back to the high street

Cultural attractions contribute millions each year to local economies. The diverse scope for properties of all types to be key contributors to a town and city’s prosperity is huge. Cinemas, arts and music venues, comedy clubs, bars and restaurants, theatres and museums can all change the make-up of an ailing high street.

A report by the Night-time Industries Association (NTIA), found that in 2019, the value of the night-time culture economy across the UK was £46 billion – 1.64% of GDP – with the sector accounting for 425,000 jobs. One of the challenges is, however, the fact that trading costs have increased over 30% since pre-pandemic and investment is key into improving facilities and driving the industry through.

Buildings have the flexibility to adapt to changing leisure trends, such as family-focused attractions like bowling alleys and climbing walls, providing many options to consider in delivering urban renewal. Clusters of buildings and their surrounds can also be transformed into a new cultural offering, a focus on the Levelling Up spending across the country.

Our experience can help accelerate this process and integrate it within larger plans for urban renewal, along with an intricate knowledge of the construction process to deliver a successful night-time economy. Some examples include:

Bolstering the creative sector through Phoenix Cinema and Art Centre extension

We built the original centre in 2009, and have recently extended the building further. After a difficult few years for the creative sector, the hope is that this investment from Leicester City Council will double participation in arts, cinema, and creativity over the next five years.

The extension houses creative and education spaces, two new cinema screens, a larger café bar and a roof terrace with accessible toilets and lifts. We also refurbished parts of the current building to create new office and foyer spaces and extend the existing digital arts gallery. The building also received BREEAM 'Very Good' certification, demonstrating that sustainability has been considered a priority for the project.

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Bringing people together through the arts at Warwick Arts Centre

Situated on University of Warwick’s campus, the centre brings people together through the arts and creates connections that spark ideas and understanding.

We upgraded the existing structure and added an additional building connected to it. In the newer building there is a whole range of fantastic, creative spaces to explore, included three HD digital auditoria, a large ground floor gallery to exhibit contemporary art, sculpture and photography, and a spacious new-look foyer.

In creating a building that is designed to showcase art and inspire creativity, the building itself needed to reflect the creativity housed within its walls. The artfully-designed external shape required us to undertake quite a complex steel frame erection. This saw our team installing 2,700 individual pieces of frame over a 12-14 week period.


Breathing life back into the Grade II listed The Halls Wolverhampton

The venue was closed in 2015 due to its dilapidated condition, and was in great need of an upgrade.

The high-street icon has now been returned to its former glory, with the main 3,500 capacity entertainment space and a secondary 1,300 capacity venue having been totally transformed. We achieved this through essential structural, engineering and electrical improvements, as well as some enhancements throughout.

This included additional balconies, increasing ceiling heights above stages to allow for more elaborate performances, adding more comfortable seating, and creating better spaces to socialise - including bigger and better bar spaces.

We have also made some upgrades that make the venue a more inclusive place for visitors, with expanded and revamped toilet facilities, lift access to new balconies and better access arrangements for disabled visitors.

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For more information, contact our local expert

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