Swindon Arts Centre is a famous venue for entertainment with a 200-seat capacity. First opened in 1956, the building sits in the Old Town of Swindon, Wiltshire, England.
Enter the Swindon Arts Centre
The theatre stages an array of entertainment programmes throughout the year, welcoming professional as well as amateur productions. It has two performance spaces, the Main Auditorium, and the FoSAC Studio. The former primarily presents musical theatre, exhibitions, drama, dance, comedy, concerts, and local amateur productions; while the FoSAC Studio is more flexible and is, therefore, the space for events, parties, conference, workshops, small performances and fairs.
The Venue’s Story
Before the present theatre, approximately a decade earlier, there was another Arts Centre. It was a part of the former Methodist Hall located in the town centre. The Swindon Arts Centre we know today had its inauguration on Saturday 1st September 1956. Mayor N V Toze and vice-chairman of the Arts Council of Great Britain, Llewelyn Wyn Griffith, undertook the ceremony.
Following a refurbishment, the Swindon Arts Centre reopened in January 2003. The renovation saw to the incorporation of the new entrance foyer, which provided easy access to the first floor and its auditorium. The project also added new seats to the auditorium and accessible toilets to the floor. The venue underwent extensive renovation once more in 2010. This time, the ground floor underwent a full redesign to allow for newer additions to the building. It added a new studio for performance, a bar and café, along with the relocation of the Swindon Old Town public library. In November of the same year, the Centre had its first Patron, TV personality Richard Digance. English comedian, songwriter and poet Pam Ayres is the Patron of the Friends of Swindon Arts Centre.
In the early part of 2015, HQ Theatres & Hospitality was awarded the venue’s management contract by the Swindon Borough Council to run it with the Wyvern Theatre. Before that, however, the theatre’s management changed hands frequently throughout its existence. More recently, Clarry Bean managed it from 1994 to 2013, Darren Edwards from 2013 to 2015, and Elly Stimpson Duffy from 2015.