In a first-of-its-kind opening, British Land’s Broadgate has teamed with New Diorama Theatre to provide 20,000 sq ft of 29 high-quality rehearsal spaces, meeting rooms, design studios and communal areas free of charge to independent artists in an effort to reset theatre, arts and culture after the pandemic.
Designed by artists and fully staffed and equipped, NDT Broadgate is the first of its kind in the world attracting the footfall of over 80,000 creatives to Broadgate over the year and providing independents and freelancers with free space, resources and training and supporting hundreds of new theatre productions.
The project will create a blueprint that can be replicated across the UK and globally and is a partnership with the Culture & Commerce Taskforce (chaired by the Lord Mayor of the City of London and led by the City of London Corporation with Culture Mile). NDT Broadgate will be a testbed for how culture and commerce can work together for mutual benefit to accelerate London’s recovery.
NDT Broadgate is the brainchild of London’s New Diorama Theatre, who won The Stage’s Innovation award for their support of artists in 2019. Alongside New Diorama, NDT Broadgate will be co-programmed and overseen by four NDT Broadgate Associate theatre companies Nouveau Riche, The Pappyshow, Migrants In Theatre and Chinese Arts Now. Supported by Jerwood Arts, each NDT Broadgate Associate will have dedicated office and rehearsal space at NDT Broadgate, gifting space at NDT Broadgate to their own networks.
NDT Broadgate will also provide a home for theatre designers, who have been among the worst-hit in the arts community. The interior spaces are being imagined and realised by freelance theatre design team Joshua Gadsby and Naomi Kuyck-Cohen. In collaboration with New Diorama’s Staff Associate Designer Shankho Chaudhuri will launch a design studio and make-space at NDT Broadgate, free for early-career designers to use.
NDT Broadgate is in partnership with the Culture and Commerce Taskforce, chaired by the Lord Mayor of the City of London and led by the City of London Corporation and Culture Mile, which will run a series of pilot projects as part of its Fuelling Creative Renewal report, published earlier this year. Working with the City Corporation, NDT Broadgate will be part of the City’s vibrant offer; creating the world’s most inclusive, innovative and sustainable business ecosystem.
New Diorama Theatre Artistic & Executive Director, and NDT Broadgate founder, David Byrne said:
“Through lockdown we’ve all been imagining what a better world could look like. NDT Broadgate will be an engine for change – a place where artists will come back together and catalyse a new wave of creativity, accessing free shared assets to make inspiring new performances that will energise the nation, while investing in new ways of working and a more inclusive future.None of this would be possible without the generosity and insight of our partners British Land. Over the last decade they’ve stood shoulder-to-shoulder with NDT. When the pandemic struck, they were the first on the phone offering help, and now this historic investment in independent artists right in the heart of their Broadgate neighbourhood cements them as one of the UK’s most insightful supporters of the arts.Everything we’re doing will be made completely free to the country’s artists, in a world-first act of radical generosity to support the return to live performance.”
David Lockyer, Head of Broadgate at British Land said:
“Over the past 10 years we have built a strong partnership with the New Diorama Theatre at our Regent’s Place campus, so we are proud to welcome them to Broadgate. This exciting partnership in such a vibrant and diverse part of London will play an important part in supporting the UK’s cultural recovery, and will pave the way for similar projects across the country and abroad."