14 Nov 2017
Planning has been approved for the new Dance Hub Birmingham development for the Birmingham Hippodrome campus. Designed by UK architect practice Austin-Smith:Lord the New York inspired rooftop extension will enable increased access for local artists and communities developing the infrastructure for the vibrant and growing dance sector in Birmingham and the wider West Midlands region.
The Hippodrome campus, home to resident company Birmingham Royal Ballet and comprising the 1,850-seat Hippodrome Theatre and 200-seat Patrick Centre, DanceXchange and Dance Consortium, is the busiest venue for dance in the UK outside of London. The extension will create 675m² of new space for professional and community dancers including a large dance rehearsal studio, ancillary facilities and office space.
The new space will blur the traditional boundaries between public and private space between studios dedicated to artists and those accessible to communities. Initial consultation carried out by Dance Hub Birmingham has found that artists want space that welcomes people of different ages, backgrounds and ambitions, encourages them to rub shoulders and exchange ideas and experiences, and that joins up with other spaces across and beyond the City. Run by Culture Central, Dance Hub Birmingham has been working with the arts sector to put dance at the forefront of plans for the city.
Monique Deletant, Director of Dance Hub Birmingham said: “I’m delighted that the plans for the new Dance Hub facility have been approved. The plans were developed in response to wider consultation with the dance sector and demonstrate a new wave of collaborative working which will continue to deepen and develop once the building opens its doors in 2019.”
Peter Knott, Area Director, Arts Council England, said: “The architectural plans for the Dance Hub in Birmingham look very exciting. This collaborative space certainly promises to provide something special. It is great to see that the city has taken this opportunity to further accelerate the West Midlands' reputation as an international leader in the most inclusive of art forms. This looks to be a great addition to the region's thriving cultural offer."
Rob Firman, Project Director Austin-Smith:Lord said: “It was exciting to engage with the enthusiastic community of stakeholders to the Dance Hub project as we devised and developed our design concept and we are extremely pleased to have received planning approval for our vision for this ambitious facility. We are looking forward now to the construction phase and making the building a reality.”
The new development is funded through strategic investment from Arts Council England. Work will commence in Spring 2018 with completion in Spring 2019.
For further information on Dance Hub Birmingham visit www.culturecentral.co.uk/dance-hub