The Corn Exchange and Studio Theatre are being transformed into a vibrant, creative and fully accessible destination for everyone to enjoy. Whether you want to see your favourite artist (or be amazed by a new one), relax over a drink or bite to eat, hire the space for a private event, develop new artistic work or perform on our stages - these incredible buildings are coming back to life like never before.
As soon as you walk into the Corn Exchange you can’t help but say ‘Wow!’. This stunning 200 year-old former royal riding school is being stripped back to reveal its original heritage features, including the widest span timber frame in the country and the distinctive ornate windows.
Audience and artist accessibility and comfort is a key consideration, with full disabled access, internal temperature control, ventilation systems, a retractable 500-seat capacity on the ground floor, and a new balcony level. State-of-the-art production and digital technology facilities will offer better lighting, acoustics, Wi-Fi connectivity, hearing assistance systems and sound-proofing so we can programme a wider range of artists for everyone to enjoy.
And not forgetting that artists need somewhere to relax too! Backstage facilities for artists and production staff will include new dressing rooms, bathrooms and waiting areas.
Originally designed in 1935 by renowned architect Robert Atkinson, the Studio Theatre is our smaller capacity venue and is being re-modelled to offer an unrivalled visitor experience. Its unique architectural features have been carefully cleaned and repaired to its former glory with the same high-end interior specifications as the larger Corn Exchange. New retractable seating with a capacity of 250 means the space can be easily adapted for a range of performances or private hire events – from intimate gigs to small conferences.
Brighton & Hove is a city of creativity and we believe that the power of the arts can transform and enrich lives across all ages and abilities. This new practical work/meet/rehearse space will be open to artists, writers, performers and community groups to explore, research and develop their ideas so we can help nurture and retain the next generation of artists.
A new ground floor entrance on New Road will offer accessible entry for visitors into the building, whether attending an event, visiting the café or finding out more about the building’s fascinating history through an interpretive display.
On the upper level, a new light-filled viewing gallery will allow visitors to peer through the huge windows and into the vast Corn Exchange. Every day will be different - from a soundcheck to a live performance - this public area will include a bar area and heritage displays, perfect for booking events, exhibitions or private hire.
Above the Corn Exchange entrance on Church Street, visitors will be welcomed by the angelic statue of Ceres in her restored golden splendour. The Hall has been revived into a bright and airy space for use during ticketed entry, to find out information about up-coming events or as a meeting point before you grab a drink.
Eat, Drink & Socialise
A bright, contemporary street-facing café/restaurant will welcome visitors throughout the day and night. Relax, hang-out and feel the buzz of being in the heart of Brighton’s famous North Laine.
On the ground floor of the Studio Theatre (once a former ‘supper room’) and opening out onto New Road will be a new all-day restaurant from Brighton’s own Redroaster, where visitors can enjoy a meal or drinks before the show.
Two new bars located on the lower ground floor and viewing gallery level will provide refreshments for audiences attending events in both venues or used for private hire breakouts.
All visualisation images by project architects Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios