Storyhouse: Chester's new £37m cultural centre

If you're interested in performing arts, you may be excited to learn about the developments happening in Chester. Due to be completed at the end of 2016, the RE:NEW project will see Chester's 1936 Odeon building transformed into a brand new cultural centre, providing a blend of theatre, music, dance, literature and cinema in what will be a fusion of library and performing arts space.

Exciting plans ahead!

The centre will be run and programmed by Storyhouse, a combined arts producer, based in Chester. Formerly known as Chester Performs, their work includes the nationally acclaimed Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre, the Chester Music Festival and the Chester Literature Festival.

Eager to make a truly inspiring year-round programme, the centre aims to produce its own work, as well as welcome the best national and international artists to the region.

The integration of library services with arts organisations is a key strategic priority for Arts Council England. Darren Henley, Chief Executive of Arts Council England said:

"Storyhouse is a hugely ambitious project and we are delighted to be working alongside Cheshire West and Chester, Chester Performs and Chester University as key partners in its development. The announcement of its name represents a major milestone along the road to opening what will be a stunning, ground breaking venue for Cheshire."

Links with our Department of Performing Arts

Our Department of Performing Arts has been establishing a strong relationship with Alex Clifton, Artistic Director of Storyhouse, who has been involved in delivering workshops with our Performing Arts students. These workshops have helped to contribute to his recent book: The Actor's Workbook, launched at the University's on campus John Smith's Bookshop last week. What's more, Performing Arts Senior Lecturer Richard Molony, was also involved in helping to edit the accompanying video to the book.

The Department plan to build on this relationship further, and have recently made Alex an Honorary Teaching Fellow in the Department.

To find out more about the Department of Performing Arts, and the courses they offer, visit:


Photograph by Mark Carline