The City of London Corporation has agreed £25 million in funding to upgrade performing arts and conference venue the Barbican Centre (cap. 1,943).
The Barbican Renewal Programme will transform underused spaces within the centre for new creative use while investing in its existing venues and public spaces.
Members of the City Corporation’s Policy and Resources Committee approved the money to develop elements of a long-term masterplan. The committee will undertake further consultation to deliver infrastructure work and boost the centre’s operational and environmental performance over the next two years.
It comes after the City Corporation launched its Destination City programme to build a seven-day-a-week leisure destination for UK and international visitors, workers, and residents.
Improvements will be made to the building’s environmental performance under the City Corporation’s Climate Action Strategy, which commits it to achieving net zero carbon status in its own operations by 2027.
The project will aim to preserve the complex, respecting its Grade II listed status, and the original architectural vision of the arts centre, which is now more than 40 years old.
The Brutalist style building attracts almost two million visitors per year across music, theatre, dance, visual arts, and cinema events. Last year the venue appointed a new design team led by Allies and Morrison, Asif Khan Studio and Buro Happold.
The Barbican Centre CEO Claire Spencer said, “Our role is to spark creative possibilities and transformation for artists, audiences, and communities – to inspire, connect and provoke debate. Fundamental to this is the renewal of our brilliant Barbican building.
“We now have a great opportunity to conserve the extraordinary architectural heritage of the Barbican, while reconsidering what an arts centre can and should be in the twenty-first century, and making sure we are open and welcoming to all.”
The City Corporation is the fourth largest funder of heritage and cultural activities in the UK and invests more than £130m every year. Following the £25m funding from the City Corporation the Barbican Centre will be seeking a range of additional funding sources for the next phases of the programme.