A new creative district for London moves a step closer

Published Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Architects appointed to transform part of the Royal Arsenal in Woolwich.

The Royal Borough of Greenwich has appointed award-winning architects, Bennetts Associates, to transform a section of the Royal Arsenal riverfront in Woolwich into a 16,500-square-metre creative hub.

The Woolwich Creative District will turn the unused, Grade II and Grade II* listed buildings into a space that will include a 450 seat theatre, a performance courtyard seating up to 600 and ten rehearsal studios as well as a base for internationally acclaimed theatre companies.

A major employment centre

The Royal Arsenal site has long been identified as a key driver for the local economy. Based in the heart of this historic site on the banks of the River Thames, the Creative District marks a new chapter in the continued revival of Woolwich and the surrounding area.

Creating hundreds of local jobs, the Woolwich Creative District will become a major employment centre for local people, as well as giving residents and visitors a new attraction as part of the wider regeneration of the town.

Using ideas from the local community

The local community has fed in some inspiring ideas through a consultation exercise, which Bennetts Associates will now use as the brief for the design. More opportunities for close consultation with residents as these exciting plans come to fruition are planned for later this year.

Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, Cllr Denise Hyland said: "We are really looking forward to seeing how the plans are fully worked up and it's brilliant that we can feed in the views of local people as it all takes shape. These buildings are truly unique and are perfectly positioned on the Thames riverfront.

"They will ultimately form a fantastic facility that will attract people from far and wide to Woolwich as well as providing lots of new jobs for local people. This exciting project will bring a new creative hub to the area cementing our reputation as a destination of culture."

'One of the most significant cultural projects in the UK'

Rab Bennetts, founding director, Bennetts Associates says, "It is a privilege to be designing one of the most significant cultural projects in the UK. Converting the historic Woolwich Arsenal buildings into a series of vibrant performing arts venues could hardly be more rewarding.

"We are excited at the prospect of seeing this fascinating part of London establish its place on the cultural map of Europe."