Building work starts on major new creative centre at the Roundhouse



Groundbreaking ceremony for Roundhouse's new creative centre © Nici Eberl.jpg

Back row (L-R) – Roundhouse Trustee, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Roundhouse CEO and Artistic Director, Marcus Davey, Comedian, Hugh Dennis and Baroness Deborah Bull
Front row (L-R) – Roundhouse Poetry Slam Winner, Maureen Onunwali, Roundhouse Resident Artist, Laurie Ogden and Presenter and Producer, Cherise Hamiltn-Stephenson


Roundhouse Trustee, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Baroness Deborah Bull and young creatives, officially launched the start of the construction work on a new state-of-the-art creative centre for young people at the Roundhouse, Camden.

The ambitious new building, opening at the end of 2022, will provide the space and facilities for a brand new programme of work focussing on employability and leadership skills which will transform access to opportunities in the creative industries.

It will include a co-working space for young creative entrepreneurs and freelancers, as well as a podcast studio run by Transmission Roundhouse, and a variety of rehearsal spaces for emerging artists aged 18-30. This will be alongside mentoring and professional opportunities facilitated by the Roundhouse, helping young people turn their creativity into a career.

Creativity doesn’t belong to any one group. We are all born with the ability to imagine, create and innovate but not everyone has equal access. So it is important and heartening to see work beginning on the new creative centre, providing that access and opportunities to young people across all the wonderfully diverse backgrounds that London has to offer.

Sanjeev Bhaskar, Roundhouse Trustee

At the heart of the Roundhouse is the Roundhouse Studios where 7,500 11-25 year olds access studio and rehearsal space, as well as creative projects and performance opportunities each year. The new building will be an expansion to this offer, allowing the venue to double the number of young people they work with.

Of the young people who take part at the Roundhouse, 58% are from lower socio-economic backgrounds, and 46% are from diverse ethnicities. Research released just last week by an APPG for Creative Diversity showed the creative industries are made up of a narrow subset of the population, made worse by the pandemic. The Roundhouse’s new creative centre aims to combat that lack of diversity.

The APPG for Creative Diversity’s Creative Majority report identified ambition as fundamental to any strategy for increasing diversity in the creative industries. The Roundhouse has never been short on ambition and this new creative centre continues to aim high. Alongside the raft of ground-breaking activity already in place to support, encourage and develop young people, this new space will further increase access to opportunities for all – another step towards achieving a creative workforce that better reflects the full and glorious diversity of the UK today.

Baroness Deborah Bull, Vice President (Communities & National Engagement) and Senior Advisory Fellow for Culture, King’s College London

The new space will support Camden’s ambitions to ensure that all young people in the borough have access to economic opportunity. The creative industries are thriving in Camden but young people don’t always have access to the opportunities on their doorstep. Before the pandemic, the creative industries were worth £111.7bn and they will be an economic lifeline to this country as it recovers, posing an exciting sector for young people to enter into. This new space will show how creativity can play a vital role in rebuilding communities post-pandemic.

This new building has been many years in the development and it couldn’t come at a more vital time for young Londoners. It will open up opportunities in the creative industries to create more equal access to the jobs that young people want and in addition ensuring the sector better reflects society. The creative industries aren’t very diverse, but young people who access opportunities at the Roundhouse are, and this space will continue the step-change we want to see in diversifying the creative industries. We know this will be a home for the theatre-makers, music producers and creative entrepreneurs of the future.

Marcus Davey, CEO and Artistic Director, Roundhouse

The building work has begun on the new creative centre, which is due to open at the end of 2022. Of the £7.2m project cost, 90% has been raised so far, with money being donated by private donors and trusts and foundations, including a £1.5m donation from The Inflexion Foundation. The new creative centre would not be possible without the generous support of The Norman Trust who donated the land for the new building.

This new creative centre will be an incredible addition to London’s creative industries, a place where young people can build more positive futures for themselves. It comes at a vital time and by investing in this space the Roundhouse is boldly saying to young people that they will support them to achieve their dreams and ambitions.

Simon Turner, Trustee, The Inflexion Foundation and Chair, Roundhouse