The London arts venue still needs to find £5m to begin work on the project, which would provide space and support to 18 to 30 year olds looking to start a career in the creative industries.

Photo of Roundhouse extension
The proposed build, located on the current Roundhouse site


The Roundhouse arts venue is planning to expand its London home with a new centre dedicated to supporting young people starting careers in the creative industries.

Unveiled this week by Culture Secretary Matt Hancock, the £15m project would provide office and networking space for 18 to 30 year olds, alongside access to masterclasses, advice and mentoring.

The ‘Centre for Creative and Digital Entrepreneurs’ will have three “state of the art” large rehearsal spaces, in addition to the studios already housed underneath the main auditorium, and a year-round outdoor bar for audiences.

The proposals – which have already received planning permission and would be built adjacent to the Roundhouse venue in Camden – build on the venue’s established work with young people.

The Roundhouse engaged 5,000 young people aged 11 to 25 in its programmes last year, over half of whom were from areas of multiple deprivation. In December, the venue released a report encouraging other arts organisations to learn from its experience of working with young trustees.

“Our vision for the next five years is that we are going to reach 10,000 young people a year – and the only way we’re going to do that is by creating new spaces,” Roundhouse Chief Executive Marcus Davey told AP.

“Our determination is to open the creative industries – which are mostly made of people from middle class backgrounds – up to people that wouldn’t normally have thought it was a space for them.”

He also outlined his vision for supporting young people to build the “businesses of the future”. “To give you an example: if you wanted to be a music promoter or a theatre maker, where better to be than next to the Roundhouse team who also have extensive links into professional networks? Or to work alongside others who might be tech developers or digital marketing people?”

The venue still needs to raise £5.1m to complete the project. A development board has been set up to help secure funding from public and private sources.

“We need more corporate donors,” Davey added. “If someone gives us the £5.1m we would commission the detailed architectural design and start building work this year.

“But it doesn’t look like that’s imminent, so the project will take place over the next couple of years.”