Woolwich is embarking on a new chapter as the capital’s next landmark cultural destination.
In October 2018, the Royal Borough of Greenwich’s ambitious plans to create a destination for the arts in Woolwich’s Royal Arsenal moved another step closer, when planning permission was granted for the first phase of a multi-million-pound restoration of historic buildings, to create a 15,000 sqm complex of theatres, dance studios and places to eat.
Formerly known as the Woolwich Creative District residents overwhelmingly chose to officially name the site Woolwich Works in a public vote.
A new home for big-name talent
Punchdrunk, the world-renowned theatre company, is just one ‘big name’ tenant poised to make Woolwich Works its home – when it opens in 2020.
They will join a number of local, national and internationally acclaimed artists as a resident company, including Europe’s first majority black and minority ethnic orchestra Chineke! Orchestra, Woolwich-based Protein Dance and the Woolwich Print Fair.
A £31.59 million investment in arts and culture was approved by the Royal Borough of Greenwich in March 2017 to fund the project.
Once completed, Woolwich Works will include:
- a venue with excellent acoustics that can house an audience of 1,200 seated or 1,800 standing
- an open-sided quadrangle courtyard for performance seating up to 600
- 5 rehearsal studios, which can also be used as informal performance spaces
- artists’ studios and offices for resident companies
- a black box theatre seating up to 450
- a cafe / bar and space for hire for community group and events.
The site on the River Thames 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.