North London arts venue Jacksons Lane is to undergo a £5.1 million redevelopment, under plans to make it the “UK’s leading venue” for contemporary circus.
The redevelopment will begin in 2020 and has been made possible by funding from Arts Council England, which has awarded the venue £2.26 million towards the project.
Overseen by Citizens Design Bureau, the project will see new studio spaces created at the venue, which will become fully accessible. The venue’s foyer will be expanded, and a new café/bar will open, based under a mezzanine level, which will host free music and theatre performances to an audience in the foyer. The auditorium will be “enhanced” to improve audience experience and will increase in capacity from 166 seats to 200.
The stage will also be completely refurbished with a brand new sprung floor.
Citizens Design Bureau director Katy Marks said: ”This grant will allow us both to reveal the beauty of the grade II-listed former church building and create a more sociable, accessible and functional building. On the outside, plans include reopening the old church door to create a new, accessible entrance. Internally, increased audience capacity in the theatre, an expanded foyer and improved acoustics in studio spaces will transform the building – but keep the soul of Jacksons Lane intact.”
The arts venue said it would “burst with activity morning, noon and night” following the redevelopment, which it said would become the “home of excellence for all non-verbal theatre”.
“It will increase opportunities offered to young people passionate about pursuing a career in the arts,” it added.
ACE London area director Joyce Wilson said the redevelopment would “benefit artists and audiences from across London and beyond”.
Other funding has come from Haringey Council, which has committed £1 million to the project. The rest will be raised by a public fundraising scheme.