Looking Forward

The Capital Project

The Civic, a part of Barnsley since 1878

Back in 2017 we embarked on an ambitious capital project that will see us open the whole of our building and enable it to be the thriving centre of creativity it was always meant to be.

We currently operate within just one third of the total Civic building, at the rear.

The front Victorian third of the building is currently let to Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council (BMBC) on a long lease for office accommodation; this lease comes to an end in the Autumn of 2022.

At the core of the Civic there are just over 22,000 sq. ft of empty space over three floors that are currently not in use due to being in a shell state.

To enable us to grow and become more sustainable, an exciting refurbishment project is planned.

We want to…

  • Re-instate our original Victorian Entrance on Eldon Street and make the historic features of the building accessible to our audiences.
  • Create a welcoming main entrance complete with new bar, box office and space to relax.
  • Create a new Studio Theatre, Events Space, and extended Gallery so we can offer more exciting arts events, exhibitions and shows.
  • Create dedicated rehearsal and workshop spaces for more classes and participatory arts activities.
  • Create high-quality residential apartments in the historic frontage and enable us to give the original façade some much-needed care and attention.



We are absolutely thrilled that you now have the chance to see this vision come to life.


The story so far…
The project has come a long way since its inception and we have had a lot of fantastic support along the way.

We were enthusiastically supported by local businesses as part of our Connect campaign including local Henry Boot who through their “Total Warrior” challenge managed to raise over £4,000 for the campaign.

Copier Systems also became one of our champions. Their MD Ryan Eastwood was involved in a sponsored walk which saw a dedicated group, including our then CEO Helen Ball, traverse the boundary of Barnsley, a total of 72 miles over 3 days.

We were very grateful to Sir Ian McKellen and his team for coming to Barnsley as part of the 80 stages tour. It was an absolute pleasure to host him at our venue and he helped spread the message for us, on the back of which we raised just over £15,000 towards the Connect project.

In February 2018 we planned a spectacular dinner, dance and fashion show fundraiser for both the Connect campaign and The Prince’s Trust. Hosted by Barnsley’s own Andrew Barton along with celebrity stylist Mark Heyes, the event was a huge success, both in raising funds and spreading the word.

We also, of course, have had the gracious support of our audience and the general public, who have continuously donated to us throughout this journey.

Thank you.

Photo credit: Charlotte Graham

Proposed Ground Floor Plans

Proposed Second Floor Plans

Proposed Third Floor Plans

Proposed Fourth Floor Plans

What’s next?
We have secured £1.6m towards the £6.6m construction target amount from BMBC and Historic England as part of the Eldon Street HSHAZ scheme. Grants from BMBC and Architectural Heritage Fund have also helped us get this far.

We still need to raise the balance to ensure all the elements of the scheme can be delivered.

The scheme is now at RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) Work Stage 3 and will hopefully be submitted for planning consent by July 2021; some funds have been secured towards the cost of RIBA Work Stage 4.

We are a registered charity and without the help and support of donations and sponsors, we would not be able to keep doing what we do. If you have been inspired to help us on this journey and keep this amazing project moving forward, you can make a donation to our appeal.

You can donate as little as £1 and every single donation takes us one brick closer to securing the long-term future of the Civic!

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