Dance studio plans to open in former pound shop

Posted On 19 May 2020 at 11:58 am

A Brighton theatre school is planning to open a dance studio in a former pound shop in London Road.

The Institute for Contemporary Theatre has applied for permission to transform the now-empty Poundstretcher store into a dance and performance training suite.

Meanwhile, a property developer has separately applied to knock down the back of the building and build six flats over three floors fronting Providence Place.

The institute’s application, written by Ken Parke Planning Consultants, says: “This building will provide much needed additional space for the Institute for Contemporary Theatre and will enable the institute to grow and provide courses offered in partnership with well-established local institutions, BIMM Institute and the Screen and Film School.

“Within 46-47 London Road, the Institute will provide dance and performance tuition facilities for multiple disciplines.

“The facility help support and will provide strong links and support for the creative industries which are acknowledged as being of great importance to the city.

“The frontage of the shop is less than 15 metres wide so the proposal would not result in a gap of more than 15 metres in the established retail frontage.

“The proposal will deliver a positive effect on the shopping environment of the area – it will encourage combined trips and pedestrian activity from staff and students at the site.

“It will also deliver a physical enhancement to the building which has a run-down and neglected appearance, exacerbated by the fact that the shop unit is currently standing empty.”

No big changes are needed to the front of the building for the dance studio conversion, except the installation of a ventilation plant.

Under the plans, the interior will have new internal divisions to create a dance studio at the back of the ground floor, together with a toilet, bike store, storage and stairs.

The front of the ground floor will house a reception, staff kitchen and lounge area.

The basement will be an open plan teaching room, and the first floor will be divided into a large performance space, two vocal performance rooms, a tutorial room and two toilets.

It’s expected there would be 56 staff and students on the site at a time. The Institute will relocate some teaching from its current base at nearby Vantage Point, which will continue to be its main site.

Poundstretcher has now moved into the former Co Op department store, just over the road.

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