Over the summer we are investing in upgrading some of our main facilities across the building. Between June and September, we will be refitting our changing rooms, toilets, backstage dressing rooms and the cafe area to create more modern, accessible and welcoming spaces.

We have taken great care to make sure any inconvenience during the building works will be minimal for our users and visitors, however we know there will be many questions around how the works will affect your experience at The Place this summer.

We have collated the most frequently asked questions below but please do contact us at info@theplace.org.uk using the subject line 'Capital Refurbishment' if you are seeking any specific information we haven't addressed here.

Why are we undertaking this work?

While our building offers both charm and character, and has been well maintained, we are aware that many of the supporting facilities have been in need of modernisation for some time. As a result, we have worked in consultation with workplace design consultants Burtt-Jones and Brewer, artists, participants, staff and students to plan upgrades.

We have scheduled this work to take place over the summer months to ensure minimal disruption to all our in-house activities.

How long will the work last?

Works begin on 5 June, and are expected to last until September. If for any reason this timeline needs to shift we will update all affected users in advance.

Will my class/workshop/residency be affected?

All confirmed activity over the summer will go ahead as planned. Our studios will not be affected, and works will be staggered in phases so that we ensure there are always alternative facilities available.

What about noise?

It is unavoidable that there will be increased noise, particularly during the demolition phase. Please contact us on info@theplace.org.uk if you have concerns for your planned activity.

What time will the contractors be in?

7am-4pm, Monday to Friday with an occasional weekend day. Most evening and weekend classes will not be affected.

Can I still use the cafe?

Our cafe is one of the central areas of this refurbishment, and will be fully closed and inaccessible (even for passing through) between from 15 July until the beginning of September. During this time, the Duke's Road entrance will open in line with office hours to allow access to the facilities on that side of the building, such as the theatre, founder's studio and office spaces.

Who designed the new concept?

We worked with design consultants Burtt-Jones and Brewer, and involved artists, participants, staff and students in the process.

What are the plans for the cafe?

The project will include the creation of a new shared kitchen, so students. artists and class participants have the option to prepare their own food alongside purchasing from the cafe. This shift is a direct response to feedback from our community about the cost-of-living challenges they face, and whilst recognising the extraordinary and long-standing contribution of the current cafe provider Dinnerbelle, it has been necessary to retender the cafe provision as part of this process.


We are going to install new temporary water points while our normal fountains are inaccessible.

How are you financing the refurbishment?

We are financing half of the project cost through our reserves, and half through charitable support, with thanks to Backstage Trust, Foyle Foundation, Cockayne and Garfield Weston for their generous support.