Published: Wednesday, 27th January 2021

Planning consent was granted yesterday for the major refurbishment and extension of the Tramshed arts centre and community hub as part of the new Woolwich Leisure Centre Scheme.

The much-loved historic theatre, housed in a unique Edwardian power station that once served a tram network, will be sensitively rejuvenated by the Council to provide an exciting performing arts venue and spaces for community use. 

Cllr Adel Khaireh, Cabinet Member for Culture, Communities and Equalities, said:  

“Gaining planning approval for Tramshed is the first step in creating one of the most exciting new leisure centres in London located in the heart of Woolwich town centre. 

“Thousands of residents have already had their say on the ambitious plans that will also see the construction of more than 450 new homes, including affordable ones for our residents. 

“Together with shops, workspace, food and drink outlets, and new public spaces this is a big investment in Woolwich with great potential to enhance the town centre and provide new public facilities, homes and jobs.” 

Jeremy James, Artistic Director at Tramshed, said:  

“Tramshed, formerly known as Greenwich and Lewisham Young People’s Theatre has been in the Woolwich tramshed since 2009 where we’ve been running a varied arts and entertainment programme. We’re proud to have nurtured the talent of so many local young people including Bernardine Evaristo, last year’s Booker Prize winner - the refurbishment of the theatre will secure our future so we can reach thousands more and give the communities of Woolwich a space to be proud of.” 

The new Woolwich Leisure Centre will replace the old facilities at the Waterfront Leisure Centre with their modern equivalents and will also provide new facilities not currently available at the existing building in a more convenient town centre location close to excellent transport links.  

The planning application for the improvements to the Tramshed includes: 

  • a fully renovated, flexible performance space with an audience capacity of over 150 and configured either with raked seating or as an open studio 
  • a connection to the new Leisure Centre, where two new studio spaces will be located 
  • demolition and rebuilding of the 1970s extensions to provide better quality spaces that are fit for purpose 
  • new flexible office space for local start-ups  
  • changes to internal arrangements to provide acoustic separation between performance spaces and circulation spaces 
  • improvements to kitchen and toilet facilities 

Find out more about the new Woolwich Leisure Centre Scheme.