The Old Vic
An artist's impression of the new establishment in South East London.
Rebecca Wayman

Iconic Old Vic venue launches plans for new 'innovative' arts hub worth £12m

The Old Vic theatre has revealed plans for the next phase of a new £12m arts hub.

A £12m Annex is set to open up new opportunities for the local community and young people across the capital. The Old Vic is said to be a huge part of the local social mobility, community engagement and employability on offer in South East London.

It is proposed that The Annex will be backed via a unique partnership with the two local London boroughs which it predominantly serves: Lambeth and Southwark.

If approved, the partnership will be an innovative cross-borough funding arrangement which would see each borough loan the theatre £3.75m towards the £12m total required.

There will be a meeting on July 16 with Southwark Cabinet, to consider plans to approve the loan which will be paid back over a 10-year period.

Lambeth Council is set to consider making a similar loan on July 22. If approved, the partnership could provide millions of pounds worth of social value for local people.

Executive director, Kate Varah, said, ’The Annex is a once in a generation opportunity. With the visionary collaboration of Lambeth and Southwark Councils, we will together ensure that this vibrant theatre sustains financially and that its wide-reaching social engagement is so deeply embedded that there can never be any doubt about the value of The Old Vic to those it serves…

“[It is a] civic resource, a beacon for cultural adventure, a place where everyone can explore in an environment where they feel truly welcome.”

Cllr Jack Hopkins, Lambeth council leader, added: “The Old Vic is a cultural icon and we are incredibly proud to have it in Lambeth on the boundary with Southwark.

“Increasingly our role as a council is to harness the energy and dynamism of the borough in a way that benefits all our communities.”

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