Norwich Arts Centre Set to Reopen

Behind the closed doors of Norwich Arts Centre over the past 5 months they have been busy. Phase 2 of their regeneration project to future-proof their building has been going ahead with a planned re-opening this Autumn.

The hall has had a complete redecoration and deep clean and the windows have been revealed for the first time in forty years so that they can now let in natural daylight.

The centre has been on a bit of a journey over the last two years following their 500k Arts Council grant awarded in Oct 2018. The grant was to help maintain the venue and to transform their accessibility and carbon footprint and they launched their 40/40 campaign to match fundraise 40k for their 40th anniversary in 2020.

After fundraising 25k Phase 1 of the refurbishment began during the Summer of 2019. The building closed for 10 weeks and a team of contractors set to work on installing a new lighting rig and PA in the hall, completely refurbishing the bar and restoring all of the original parquet flooring. Accessibility and environmental improvements included induction loops in the foyer, bar and auditorium, a portable lift stage, LED lighting throughout the building, new heating systems and a push pad entry system to the auditorium.

The venue reopened in September 2019 and kicked off the Autumn season with local band Gladboy being first to showcase our new PA and lights followed by some amazing performances from the likes of Ibibio Sound Machine, Acid Mothers Temple, Snapped Ankles, The Comet is Coming and Beak.

In March 2020 all that came to a standstill alongside the rest of the world due to COVID-19. As with all venues across Norwich, the Arts Centre were forced to close their doors until further advice from the government.

However, as work was due to start on Phase 2 of the refurbishment in June 2020 they decided to take a risk and push ahead with plans before match funding the full 40k.

We sadly had to freeze our fundraising journey to support our regeneration campaign in March but we decided to continue with our Summer building plans to make the venue more sustainable and safer for everyone when we reopen. We can’t wait to get back to doing what we love but we will need our customers support more than ever before if we’re going to survive this year. The venue has never looked better in its 40th year, we’re so proud of how far we’ve come and we look forward to welcoming you back.

NAC director Pasco

Norwich Arts Centre will be opening Thursdays – Sundays, kicking off with a mini performance festival “TILTED East” on Thursday 23 October – Sunday 25 Oct featuring a host of Norwich favourite performers including Molly Naylor, Luke Wright, Martin Figura, True Stories Live and TOAST. Tickets are very limited due to capacity safety measures so be sure to book ahead.

Following the festival the centre will be opening up as a safe, table-serviced free entry bar throughout the venue including the newly refurbished auditorium with occasional paid pop-up performances. NAC will be a unique Norwich Lanes drinking spot with projections and lighting, candlelit evenings and curated playlists from some of our favourite local bands and DJs.

To open safely, they have a few new measures in place so please be sure check out their COVID secure page.

Over the last forty years NAC have relentlessly strived to bring a rich and culturally diverse programme of music and performance to the city. They are a valued venue for the local community; a place where connections are made, where friendships flourish, where love stories begin; it is a place where memories are created and cherished. If you want to support NAC during these difficult times you can make a donation on their website and pop in for a drink or performance.