Jacksons Lane brings forward multi-million pound redevelopment to November

An indicative design of Jacksons Lane’s foyer space. Picture: Citizens Design Bureau

An indicative design of Jacksons Lanes foyer space. Picture: Citizens Design Bureau - Credit: Citizens Design Bureau

Arts Centre managers want to minimise the time it is closed to the public, and get on with the plan for better seating, a new entrance, and foyer with cafe

Jacksons Lane has brought forward its multi-million pound redevelopment with building work due to start in November.

With the arts centre shuttered since March, it was thought timely to crack on with construction work to “future-proof” the Grade II listed building and minimise the time it is closed to the public.

It is now set to reopen in July 2021 with a spacious foyer, new cafe, revamped sound-proofed studios, better seating, and improved accessiblity.

The work is being funded by a £2.1 million Arts Council grant, £1.25 million from Haringey Council and £60,000 from the foundation of the late Highgate resident Victoria Wood.

The remainder will be raised from other trusts, donors and a public fundraising campaign. Celebrating its 45th anniversary this year, Jacksons Lane is both a leading venue for contemporary circus and a community centre for creative classes and courses.

Other highlights of the revamp include better rigging for circus artists, improved dressing rooms and a new entrance through the original Church.

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Jacksons Lane’s Executive Director Monique Deletant said: “We love how much our building is cherished by our communities, but for years they’ve endured noise bleed in studios, buckets catching leaks when it rains and an overcrowded foyer. Since we couldn’t reopen in a way that allows social distancing, we’ve been doing all we can to adapt or digitise our outreach and performance work to reach our communities: now I’m thrilled that we can make the building fit for a post-Covid future and give all of our users the building they deserve.”

Jacksons Lane’s artistic director, Adrian Berry, added: “I’m happy that we’ve been able to push forward plans to reshape our beloved building, because it gives us the best chance of emerging from the pandemic as a strong, resilient centre for circus, culture and community engagement. As excited as I am to get started, I’m also keenly aware that we’re a fortunate minority in a sector which is at serious risk. My priority now is planning how we’ll best support artists and companies through our reopening season of shows in 2021.”

Architects the Citizens Design Bureau, best-known for their award-winning work on the Royal Court will oversee the project and distinguished Highgate architect Professor David Porter, who was recently appointed Chair of Jacksons Lane’s Board of Trustees, will help to steer it.

Cllr Charles Adje, Haringey cabinet member for finance and strategic regeneration, said: “Jacksons Lane is one of Haringey’s flagship arts venues and most celebrated landmarks. This redevelopment will make it bigger, better and even more accessible, meaning that more Haringey residents will be able to enjoy the wide range of first-class performances on offer.”