Plans to renovate derelict Savoy Cinema approved



Plans to renovate the derelict Savoy Cinema in Hackney (pictured above) have been approved with £1.9m of investment secured.

The building is set to be transformed into the £3m Hackney Arts Centre (HAC), which will deliver cultural events as a 2,500-plus capacity multi-arts centre.

Village Underground – the organisation behind the renovation – has received financial backing from social investors Big Issue Invest, the Arts Impact Fund and Triodos Bank.

“All three investors are passionate about the social impact of the Hackney Arts Centre and have been creative and bold in getting us this far,” said Auro Foxcroft, owner of Village Underground.

“As a social enterprise, it’s essential for us to have financial backing that understands our goals, and in this way these organisations have set us free to usher something into the world that would have otherwise not been possible.”

Village Underground has established itself over the past 10 years as a fixture in London’s contemporary music scene.

The former cinema has remained largely abandoned since the early 1980s but is now set to be given a new lease of life as the HAC.

“We are so pleased to support Village Underground in bringing to life the vision of the Hackney Arts Centre,” said James Salmon, investment director at Big Issue Invest, which will provide £600,000 of the funding.

“We are confident Auro and his team will deliver an equally impressive venue in the heart of Dalston.”

Savoy Cinema
The former Savoy Cinema was built in 1936

Through a partnership with socially driven arts charity Community Music, the centre will also host programming to engage children and young people from the borough of Hackney.

Triodos Bank will be investing £700,000 into the project and senior relationship manager Paul Nicoll said: “At Triodos, we know the arts and culture sector plays an important role in bringing communities together and helping us look at societal challenges differently.

“In bringing together social and cultural goals, the Hackney Arts Centre is the kind of innovation that can be truly transformative.”

Meanwhile, Seva Phillips, fund manager at the Arts Impact Fund – which will provide £600,000 – added: “We’re hugely excited to support Hackney Arts Centre for these reasons, not to mention developing the legacy of Village Underground as a pioneering force in the capital’s cultural scene.”


Sign up to our newsletter to receive more news like this story

I accept that by joining the DFT mailing list, I will receive relevant news and promotional material via DFT on behalf of its partners and advertisers. Your data will not be passed on to any third party.
No, thanks, just the news please.



Leave a comment