Following a successful fund-raising campaign, work is to start on the bespoke fit-out for Central School of Ballet’s new Paris Gardens premises in Southwark on London’s South Bank. It is planned that students on Central’s undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes (including it’s touring company, Ballet Central) will begin using the facilities during the academic year 2019/20.
In March 2017, Central School announced they needed £6 million to finance the development of its new studios and other facilities. Less than two years later, under £1 million is required for the final stages of the building. Support to date has come from individuals, major trusts and foundations and from two loans: £3million from Southwark Council and £600,000 from the Arts Impact Fund.
While Central School’s present base in Herbal Hill, Clerkenwell may feel homely, some facilities are cramped and it has become increasingly outdated. The move will give the school super state-of-the-art amenities including seven studios, a fully-equipped studio theatre, study and resource centres. There will also be a health suite providing psychology, nutrition, physiotherapy, Pilates and recovery from injury programme.
Owned by LetterOne Treasury Services, the Paris Gardens site also includes 253-bed student accommodation.
The aim is for Central School to become a hub for a dynamic dance community combining excellence in dance training for those aiming for a professional career and a programme of opportunities for the local Southwark community. As part of that, the thriving Central Nights programme of open classes, children’s classes and other community activities that are attened by over 1,200 people each week will also transfer to the new home.
Heidi Hall, director of Central School of Ballet praised the exceptional response to the fundraising campaign, and particularly thanked Southwark Council for their interest in and support of Central’s work.