Camden People’s Theatre (CPT) today announces the start of its bold new development project, activating revitalised plans to upgrade its performance space, rehearsal space and foyer for the first time in its 26-year history. Their project has been developed in partnership with architects De Matos Ryan through a co-design process that engaged with the local community, audiences and artists. The works will improve accessibility, resilience and sustainability, allowing CPT to realise their ambition to open a new community café, with a vastly improved on-street presence, reimagining 58-60 Hampstead Road as a civic space open day and night, and making CPT’s building as community-focused as the art they promote.
Thirteen months ago, Camden People’s Theatre announced their plans to transform their space, with a ‘brief closure’ for work in Summer 2020. Since the pandemic hit, they have recalibrated those plans and secured funding to carry out the works while social distancing is still in place and many theatres remain closed. They have also continued to support their community through youth outreach and a partnership with a local food charity, as well as supporting early-career artists with a major new round of commissions.
With a Small Capital Grant from Arts Council England and a grant from the Foyle Foundation already in place, CPT has spent the last seven months securing generous contributions from a number of sources, including London Borough of Camden, Viridor Credits and the Cockayne Foundation (full list below). Now, the final grant has been confirmed, a Capital Kickstart grant as part of the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund, enabling the redevelopment to finally go ahead.
Executive Director, Kaya Stanley-Money said: “This is an extraordinary moment for Camden People’s Theatre. The grant from the Cultural Capital Kickstart fund allows us to greenlight our capital development project and deliver it now, over the next four months while social distancing obliges us to remain closed to audiences. Faced – as a result of the Covid crisis – with the prospect of having to delay our project indefinitely, or to endure a second period of closure in 2021 to undertake the work, we have worked immensely hard with partners and funders to bring this capital work forward, ensuring we are in the best possible position to re-open to the public in spring 2021.
We couldn’t be more grateful for our funders’ support and their belief in the urgent need for us to complete this work now. We can’t wait to get on-site and realise the full potential of our brilliant theatre as a more accessible, inclusive and inspirational space – for artists, audiences and our Camden community.”
Founded 26 years ago, Camden People’s Theatre is one of Britain’s most influential studio theatres. Its mission is to champion different ways of thinking about the world by supporting emerging artists making adventurous theatre – particularly about issues that matter to people now. Its work is rooted in the communities of Camden and London. Through it, they celebrate the bold, the spirited and the unconventional.