University of Warwick: Warwick Arts Centre completes £25.5 million transformation

Warwick Arts Centre has now officially completed its four year long £25.5 million transformational redevelopment and has begun the 100 day countdown to prepare for its new full season of arts events on 1st October 2021.

Part of the University of Warwick campus, Warwick Arts Centre began to temporarily close its doors in 2017 as part of a radical transformation, the largest in its 47 year history. Designed by Ellis Williams Architects, with Bond Bryan as delivery architect, and project managed by Turner and Townsend, despite the pandemic, the construction work by Willmott Dixon completed last week (week beginning 21st June 2021). The arts complex is now officially handed back to the University of Warwick to prepare for a fantastic new season starting in October in Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture

The result is an exciting, modern and accessible new space which combines refurbished and upgraded pre-existing spaces with new areas. These include a spacious and more welcoming foyer, three new cinemas (complete with high-end digital projection and sound), a repositioned Mead Gallery, and a new restaurant.

Further details on the transformation will be revealed over the coming months. The project confirms Warwick Arts Centre as the region’s leading cultural centre, a place for unforgettable arts and entertainment experiences.

Commenting on the completion of Warwick Arts Centre’s redevelopment its Director, Doreen Foster, said:

Doreen Foster, Director of Warwick Arts Centre

“This is a fantastic time for Warwick Arts Centre as we are now one step closer to welcoming visitors back to their arts centre. We cannot wait for our audiences to enjoy the experience and make new memories as they engage with the exceptional range of arts and culture that has always been our hallmark, including in our new spaces – such as our new three screen cinema, restaurant and the reimagined Mead Gallery.

“With people throughout the UK and Europe set to visit our city to mark Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture, 2021 is set to be for exciting time for arts and culture in our region – and I’m delighted that we will be part of its success. I like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been involved with the redevelopment of Warwick Arts Centre for making this possible and ensuring that audiences and visitors will be able to join us for decades to come. We’re back, bigger and better than ever, and our doors will be open wider than ever before.”

The University of Warwick’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart Croft, said:

“Sat right at the heart of our main campus, Warwick Arts Centre has been an integral part of the cultural life of our university and region for almost five decades. As we celebrate Coventry UK City of Culture 2021, it is wonderful that Warwick Arts Centre will soon be open again for audiences and visitors to come and enjoy all that is has to offer.”

Although Warwick Arts Centre won’t officially open until 1st October 2021, the venue is hosting a number of activities this summer. This includes Coventry artist Edie Jo Murray’s Folklorica, a free augmented reality trail around the University campus, starting at the venue’s entrance (available now, until May 2022, as part of UK City Of Culture). Additionally there will be two summer community projects: Playing Out with the community of Canley, in Coventry, and Curious Objects of Women’s Independence, a visual arts project that explores stories of gaining independence with women from Coventry. This project is led by leading artist, Dawinder Bansal.