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New Diorama and British Land launch major new rehearsal complex

The space will be offered free of charge to artists for one year

Publicity image for NDT Broadgate

New Diorama Theatre has announced a major new 'artist development complex', which will be made available free of charge to artists for the first year.

NDT Broadgate will be based at Broadgate Campus, next to Liverpool Street station in the City of London.

New Diorama has partnered with property developer British Land on the project, which will take up 20,000 square feet and comprise "29 high-quality, fully resourced rehearsal rooms, large design studios, presentation spaces and offices for independent artists to use throughout the year."

The space will open in July and hopes to attract over 80,000 artists to Broadgate across the year, supporting "hundreds of new theatre productions" as the industry recovers from the Coronavirus pandemic.

New Diorama Theatre artistic and executive director, and NDT Broadgate founder, David Byrne said: "Through lockdown we've all been imagining what a better world could look like. NDT Broadgate will be an engine for change – a place where artists will come back together and catalyse a new wave of creativity, accessing free shared assets to make inspiring new performances that will energise the nation, while investing in new ways of working and a more inclusive future."

The interior spaces are being created by freelance theatre design team Joshua Gadsby and Naomi Kuyck-Cohen, and will include a design studio and make-space for early-career designers to use.

Alongside New Diorama, NDT Broadgate will be co-programmed and overseen by four NDT Broadgate Associate theatre companies: Nouveau Riche, The Pappyshow, Migrants In Theatre and Chinese Arts Now.

It has received investment from Arts Council England and Jerwood Arts. Project partners include City of London Corporation and Theatre Deli, who are currently also based on British Land's campus at Broadgate.

The project, which is billed as the biggest of its kind in the world, is running in partnership with the Culture and Commerce Taskforce, chaired by the Lord Mayor of the City of London and led by the City of London Corporation and Culture Mile.

Byrne added: "None of this would be possible without the generosity and insight of our partners British Land. Over the last decade they've stood shoulder-to-shoulder with NDT. When the pandemic struck, they were the first on the phone offering help, and now this historic investment in independent artists right in the heart of their Broadgate neighbourhood cements them as one of the UK's most insightful supporters of the arts.

"Everything we're doing will be made completely free to the country's artists, in a world-first act of radical generosity to support the return to live performance."

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