A brand new 2,200 capacity London venue – the Hackney Arts Centre – has been green lighted by the local council, and the man behind the project, Auro Foxcroft, has told Pro Sound News Europe that it is hoping to hear “some good pitches” for its multi-purpose sound system.
The venue, formerly the art deco Savoy Cinema, will now be fully refurbished into a new music and arts venue for the local community. The main auditorium, which has been largely unused since the mid-‘90s, will be renovated, while two other areas, which have been used as a bar and cafe until recently, will also be given a major overhaul.
Speaking exclusively to PSNE, Foxcroft – founder of Village Underground (the team behind the renovation) – hailed the decision by Hackney Council to give HAC the go ahead.
“Hackney Arts Centre will be a major new addition to London's venue landscape,” he said. “The project has a 1,200 capacity standing venue and a second 1000 capacity seated venue, spaces that are really lacking in the city. We've had a catastrophic loss of grass roots music venues over the last decade, with three lost on our same street last year alone - but we're fighting back, 2016 was the first in seven years that London didn't suffer a net loss of grass roots venues and with HAC in the making things are looking up. We're working hard to make the project a treasured cultural space for everyone.”
Foxcroft told PSNE sister magazine Music Week ealier this year: “You’ve got Hammersmith and Shepherd’s Bush out west, you’ve got Brixton Electric and Academy down south, you’ve got Kentish Town Forum and Roundhouse in the north and nothing in East London. We’re going to plug that gap. It’s also got a really powerful education and training programme for young people, particularly focusing on young people from challenging backgrounds. We will continue Village Underground’s job of breaking new acts and getting behind emerging talent. We want to reflect the amazing mixed communities of Hackney and London in the programme.”
He also offered the following message to the pro audio market: “As for the sound, the jury is still out, we've started speaking to manufacturers and are looking for versatility - we'll be shapeshifting from live gigs through electronic music to theatre, spoken word and film, we need the best all rounder, hoping to hear some good pitches soon!”
The Hackney Arts Centre is tentatively scheduled to open in March 2018.