Conference 17: Theatres & Placemaking

On 17 October 2017 Theatres Trust's Conference 17: Theatres & Placemaking brought together theatre operators, local authorities, planners, developers and architects to explore the role of theatres and wider cultural infrastructure within placemaking.

We have gathered resources related to theatres and placemaking for attendees. These include Conference 17: Contributors presentations from plenary and parallel sessions, plus handouts and post-Conference Press.

Download the Conference 17: Theatres & Placemaking Report.

Placemaking in Context 

What is placemaking and how do theatres and wider cultural infrastructure contribute? 

Dr Cara Courage, Futurecity introduced the concept of 'placemaking' and the role of culture and cultural infrastructure in creating a successful place.

Cara Courage's Conference Presentation (PDF)

Paul Callaghan CBE, DL, FRSA, Chair of Live Theatre and Trustee of Sunderland Music, Arts and Culture Trust explored the role of culture within regeneration as part of the MACQ (Music, Arts and Cultural Quarter) project in Sunderland.

Paul Callaghan's Conference Presentation (PDF)

Culture in the City: Sunderland's Cultural Transformation, My Word, 2017

Anna Devlet, Head of Community at British Land and David Byrne, Artistic and Executive Director, New Diorama Theatre described their long term partnership, building and running the theatre as part of the Regent’s Place development.

Anna Devlet and David Byrne's Conference Presentation (PDF)

Parallel 1 – Civic Pride: Local Authorities & Cultural Placemaking

What are the benefits of investing in theatres and wider cultural infrastructure?  What are the challenges for local authorities in protecting, adapting and building cultural buildings and how can they overcome them?

Ed Bayes Policy Officer, Culture at Risk, Culture and Creative Industries talked about how the Greater London Authority are protecting and promoting cultural buildings across London.

Ed Bayes' Conference Presentation (PDF)

Graham Lister, Project Director for Storyhouse Chester and Councillor Louise Gittins, Deputy Leader of Cheshire West and Cheshire Council explained why and how they went about building support for and investment in the recently opened Storyhouse in Chester.

Graham Lister and Cllr Louise Gittin's Conference Presentation (PDF)

Ian Timms, Assistant Director for Business Development at Taunton Deane and West Somerset Council, Vanessa Lefrancois, Chief Executive, Brewhouse Theatre & Arts Centre and Tim Foster, MA Dip Arch (Cantab) RIBA, Partner, Foster Wilson Architects discussed their plans for a new cultural quarter based around the redevelopment of the Brewhouse. 

Tim Foster's Conference Presentation (PDF)

Parallel 2 – Cultural Citizens: Communities Putting Culture on the Map

How are local communities engaging in cultural placemaking through campaigning to protect theatres?  What are the challenges they face and how can they overcome them?  How can we encourage greater community involvement in cultural planning and placemaking?

Brian Whiteley, Planning Advisor, Planning Aid explained how communities get involved in neighbourhood and local plans and outlines how the arts sector could engage better with their communities around cultural planning and placemaking.

Brian Whiteley's Conference Presentation (PDF)

Planning Aid: What is a Neighbourhood Development Plan

Planning Aid: The Local Plan Process and How to Get Involved

DCLG: Plain English Guide to Using the Planning System.

Daniel Rose, Executive Director, Mechanics’ Institution Trust discussed the ambition to bring the Swindon Mechanics’ Institution back to life as a community-run theatre.

Daniel Rose's Conference Presentation (PDF)

Hannah Garrow, Fundraising and Community Engagement Director, Leith Theatres Trust talks about their success in the re-opening and animating of Leith Theatre in Edinburgh.

Hannah Garrow's Conference Presentation (PDF)

Parallel 3 – People, Places & Spaces: Designing Democratic Theatres

How does a theatre building relate to its local community?  How do the architecture and ethos of a theatre shape one another and how do they combine to create a sense of community ownership, belonging and identity?

Damian Cruden, Artistic Director, York Theatre Royal and Angus Morrogh-Ryan, Director, De Matos Ryan Architects discussed their recent award-winning transformation of York Theatre Royal.

Damian Cruden and Angus Morragh-Ryan's Conference Presentation (PDF)

David Watson, Associate Director, Rick Mather Architects discussed the recently completed Reuben Foundation Wing extension to the Lyric Hammersmith. 

David Watson's Conference Presentation (PDF)

Sian Alexander, Executive Director at the Lyric drew on her experience of overseeing capital projects and the mission and philosophy of the theatre.

Sian Alexander's Conference Presentation (PDF)

Jatinder Verma MBE, Artistic Director, Tara Arts, and Julian Middleton, Executive Director, Aedas Arts Team described how they collaborated on an award-winning refurbishment of Tara Theatre, London.

Jatinder Verma and Julian Middleton's Conference Presentation (PDF)


17/10/2017 Arts Industry Putting theatre in its place

17/10/2017 Hope in Hell blog Theatres Trust Conference - all I got was a ton of good info

26/10/2017 The Stage Quotes of the weekThere is a real sense of ownership from our local community for the theatre, so we feel a massive sense of responsibility for how we play our part in the area.” Sian Alexander, executive director at London’s Lyric Hammersmith, speaking at the Theatres Trust conference

31/10/2017 Making Music blog Place-making: what is it?

00/10/2017 Space Architects Theatres & Placemaking: the need to adapt to survive

09/11/2017 LSI Online Theatres Trust Conference 17: Theatres and Placemaking synopsis

09/11/2017 PlaceMaking Resource Analysis: Can the show go on for theatres?

30/11/2018 Architects Data File Future Watch – Setting the stage for regeneration

00/12/2017 Sightline Theatres and Placemaking