New creative district for London in the heart of Woolwich

News | 05 April 2017

A mock up of the new site at Woolwich

The Royal Borough of Greenwich’s Cabinet have approved the plans to transform a section of the historic Royal Arsenal riverfront site in Woolwich into a 16,500-square-metre creative hub.

The creative hub will include large-scale concert venues, rehearsal and studio spaces, offices, restaurants, and a base for internationally acclaimed theatre companies.

Greenwich Dance is one of the confirmed resident tenants in the new creative district, alongside companies including Academy Performing Arts, Chickenshed, Dash Arts, Greenwich + Docklands International Festival, Protein Dance, and Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust. Discussions with a number of other leading arts organisations are also ongoing.

The site has long been identified as a key driver for the local economy and will provide a new foundation in the continued revival of Woolwich and the surrounding area.

It’s anticipated that the new creative district will provide more than 400 local jobs in addition to new roles during construction.

The Royal Borough of Greenwich Cabinet agreed a £31million investment to bring the series of landmark historic buildings back into use for the creative district, including:

  • a former cartridge factory
  • a warehouse
  • a laboratory
  • a carriage mounting shop
  • the Royal Military Academy.

The Grade II listed buildings boast historic, architecturally impressive features and expansive square footage plus unparalleled acoustics found in the old ammunitions factory (Building 41). This will be renovated into a large scale performance venue with capacity for more than 4,000 people.

The creative district will also include:

  • a black box theatre seating up to 450
  • an open-sided quadrangle courtyard for performance seating up to 600
    ten rehearsal studios, which can also be used as informal performance spaces
  • artists’ studios and offices for resident companies
  • public facilities, including a cafe and restaurant overlooking the River Thames.

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