Building 1

Birmingham Royal Ballet’s building is 23 years old this year. Generously provided by Birmingham City Council for the Company’s move to Birmingham in 1990, construction began in 1989. It was a purpose-built home for a smaller company, administered from the Royal Opera House.

As well as breaking away from the Royal Opera House in 1996 to become wholly independent, the Company has changed a great deal in the last two decades. The current premises have gone longer without refurbishment than those of any of the major ballet companies in the UK.

As such, the building is now out of date and lacks the space and facilities elsewhere now considered to be normal or essential. The space is poorly organised – for example, our dancers have to take their ice-baths in the Jerwood Centre on the other side of the Birmingham Hippodrome building, rather than in their dressing rooms straight after a performance.

It’s expensive to run and inefficient by modern standards meaning that money is spent on bills rather than on great ballet! Even if you’ve never visited the building, you’ll probably have seen the studios in our many rehearsal videos. For example, here you can see studio rehearsals for Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, which we dance next year as part of Three of a Kind.




Overall the building is shabby and not particularly welcoming to members of the public who have access to the Company, and as such it isn’t in keeping with the quality of our work, performances and community programmes.

As a result, next summer we are aiming to begin work on a redevelopment of our building, funded by our Campaign for the Future. We want to create world-class studio facilities to attract the world’s best talent to Birmingham whilst improving access for local community groups. Dancers will rehearse and perform in surroundings specifically designed for their needs – specialist flooring that will minimise the risk of injury, medical equipment to aid in recovery, facilities to learn through digital media.

Studio 3

By making the best possible use of our space and our surroundings we’ll reduce our reliance on external facilities and building overheads. We’ll also be able to run learning workshops and other performance events from the building as we’ll be adding in bleacher seating. This will give young people the opportunity to get as close to the Company as possible and inspire them to perform to their full potential in a professional setting.

Studio 2

Through Arts Council England’s Capital Investment Programme we have secured £1.85m towards the redevelopment, which is due to start in summer 2014. The total cost of refurbishment will be £2.7m and Birmingham Royal Ballet will raise the remaining funds needed from private sources as part of its Campaign for the Future (see below). Once we raise the full project costs, this will bring our Campaign for the Future total to £11m within 12 months of launching. This will be an astonishing achievement and is an enthusiastic endorsement of how much Birmingham Royal Ballet means to audiences throughout the UK.

If you’re interested in supporting this capital project, please contact Development Director Geoff Sweeney at GeoffSweeney@brb.org.uk, and see the video below (or click here) to find out more about our Campaign for the Future.

Advertisements