First turf cut at new University of Bath centre for the arts

The official start of construction of the University of Bath’s new Centre for the Arts building was marked on Thursday 8th August by John Struthers, Director of the Institute of Contemporary Interdisciplinary Arts, who cut the first turf at a special ground-breaking ceremony. Struthers said:

“I am very excited that construction is now underway and look forward to establishing the Centre as a national hub for contemporary arts. The new building will also act as an extra cultural resource for Bath and the surrounding region, complementing the city’s arts facilities and giving local artists, musicians and performers the opportunity to develop in a dedicated creative environment.”

Leadbitter, a subsidiary of Bouygues UK, is building the Centre on behalf of the University of Bath under a £7.25million design and build contract. As well as the new three storey aluminium-clad building, the scheme involves the complete refurbishment of a theatre adjacent to the site.

The Centre for the Arts will include performance and dance studios, art galleries, two artists’ studios, an ensemble rehearsal room, several music practice rooms, offices, plus a café. There will also be a dedicated ‘Executive Education Suite’ on the first floor which will include a small lecture theatre and breakout spaces for the University’s School of Management.

Rob Bradley, Managing Director of Leadbitter and Bouygues UK’s Western team, said:

“The new Centre for the Arts will provide the University and surrounding areas with modern facilities for arts events and activities. Leadbitter is very experienced in constructing high quality statement buildings of this type, so we are positioned perfectly to deliver this project for the University.”

The new Centre for the Arts is due to be completed in late 2014 and forms part of the University’s three-year campus improvement project.