The Board and staff of the Maltings (Berwick) Trust are all delighted that funding for a new multi-million pound arts venue for Berwick was confirmed on 18 March 2021 after the signing of the government’s Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal. The new building will replace our existing venue on Eastern Lane in the centre of Berwick – sensitively capitalising on the site’s heritage location and panoramic views across the 17th century old Berwick Bridge and the Tweed Estuary.
We know how loved our current building is, and how hard our community worked to make it happen in 1990. But we’ve been increasingly aware how much the building lags behind in its facilities, its accessibility and its green credentials. And we want the very best for Berwick – so the rare opportunity to secure a new build in the current climate was too special an opportunity to ignore. Our team will work closely with Northumberland County Council to ensure the new venue delivers for everyone in Berwick, and the surrounding area – and we look forward to working from a range of temporary homes to maintain our film and live events programme (alongside our two gallery spaces) during the development period.
The venue will be a flagship cultural and entertainment complex when we open the doors in 2025, able to provide a full time year round cinema programme alongside an expanded range of live events, community activities, workshops, and events for children and young people, with:
- a larger auditorium to provide extra seats and the opportunity to secure larger touring productions and higher profile live performances across theatre, music, comedy, and dance
- two dedicated cinema spaces that will allow us to run live events and cinema screenings simultaneously
- a destination restaurant and bar
- a dedicated studio theatre
- a flexible-use education, event, screening and rehearsal space as well as technical facilities for sound recording, filming and streaming.
All our project partners are committed to ensuring we deliver a major asset for the town – attracting visitors and residents of all ages, boosting footfall and spend in the town centre, and enhancing awareness of Berwick as a must-visit destination.
Our next steps for 2021 are a design competition and public consultation, with construction work currently scheduled to start in Spring 2023.