A new Maltings
18 March 2021
Reporter: Peter Lathan
Funding for a new multi-million pound arts venue for Berwick has been confirmed after the signing of the government's Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal. The new building will replace the existing Maltings on Eastern Lane in the centre of Berwick, capitalising on the site's heritage location and panoramic views across the 17th century Berwick Bridge and the Tweed Estuary.
A statement from the Board said, “we know how loved our current building is, and how hard our community worked to make it happen in 1990. But we've been increasingly aware how much the building lags behind in its facilities, its accessibility and its green credentials. And we want the very best for Berwick—so the rare opportunity to secure a new build in the current climate was too special an opportunity to ignore.
“Our team will work closely with Northumberland County Council to ensure the new venue delivers for everyone in Berwick, and the surrounding area—and we look forward to working from a range of temporary homes to maintain our film and live events programme (alongside our two gallery spaces) during the development period.”
The new venue, which will open in 2025, will provide a full-time, year-round cinema programme alongside an expanded range of live events, community activities, workshops and events for children and young people.
It will feature:
- a larger auditorium to provide extra seats and the opportunity to secure larger touring productions and higher profile live performances across theatre, music, comedy and dance;
- a dedicated cinema space that will allow them to run live events and cinema screenings simultaneously;
- a 'destination' restaurant and bar;
- a dedicated studio theatre;
- a flexible-use education, event, screening and rehearsal space.
“We're all thrilled to be working with Northumberland County Council on this flagship project in support of the culture-led regeneration of Berwick,” said Euan Duthie QC, Chair of The Maltings Board. “The Maltings is already the cultural heart of Berwick, punching well above its weight in delivering a combined arts programme of genuine quality and appeal. The New Maltings project will take the town to a whole new level, allowing us to grow our audience and fully realise our ambitions in terms of artistic reputation, breadth of programme and community engagement right across our region.”