Building Improvements


We are delighted to announce that Bridport Arts Centre is to receive an investment of £344,200 from Arts Council towards essential works to improve the facilities and sustainability of the Arts Centre. We applied to the Arts Council in October for support to refurbish the foyer, bar and café spaces and upgrade the auditorium and stage areas as well investing in high-specification technical equipment.

Bridport Arts Centre is Grade II listed historic building comprising a former Wesleyan chapel and school house dating from the early 19th Century. Some of the money will go towards essential upgrades such as secondary glazing for the fragile original windows dating from 1838. The building will also be made more accessible to all by improvements including installing an automated front door.

Phil Gibby, Area Director, South West, Arts Council England, said:

‘This award will help Bridport Arts Centre carry out essential work as well as modernising their facilities and make the building more sustainable. By investing £344,200 through our National Lottery-funded Capital programme, we are helping to secure a more resilient future for the organisation and access to high quality arts experiences for Bridport.’

Full details will be provided as the plans are finalised, but it is anticipated the cafe and gallery will close from mid June with events in the theatre unaffected until the end of July with the whole building closed for August.

Barry Bates – Chair of the Arts Centre Trustees welcomed the news.

This is a marvelous success for Bridport Arts Centre. We will be able to offer our users a much improved experience from the new foyer, café and bar to the revamped Marlow Theatre. The decision by Arts Council England is a recognition at national level of the great potential of the Arts Centre and our track record of offering excellent and varied arts experiences. Congratulations are due to our Director Laura Cockett who has worked so hard to write the submission and thanks to fellow Trustee Robert Wheelwright whose work on the designs and plans has been so invaluable. ‘

 A condition of the Arts Council’s investment is that £230,000 is needed to match their contribution. We have already secured £100,000 but there is still some way to go to raise funds to deliver the programme of works

Director Laura Cockett said:

‘We are delighted to receive this investment from the Arts Council however we have still to secure all of the matched funding required and will be launching the final push to secure the remaining monies. There will be a public appeal soon to let people know how they can support this exciting chapter in Bridport Arts Centre’s history’