Courtyard, Hereford

Courtyard, Hereford
The Courtyard Centre For The Arts

The Courtyard
Address Edgar Street
City Hereford
Country United Kingdom
Architect Glenn Howells
Capacity 400 seats on 2 levels (main house)
120 seats (studio)
Opened 1998
Production Various

The Courtyard Centre for the Arts is a theatre and arts venue in Hereford, England, located on Edgar Street just outside the city centre. The building was constructed between 1997 and 1998 on the site of another theatre; The New Hereford Theatre, a converted swimming baths which had become outdated. It hosts in-house shows, such as a Pantomime and productions by a Youth Theatre and a Community Company, alongside national tours. It is also one of the main sites for the annual Borderlines Film Festival.

Planning for the replacement building began in 1993 and received a significant boost when the Lottery Commission provided £3.75 million towards the fund. The glass and wooden building was designed by Glenn Howells and opened on 18 September 1998 after a ribbon-cutting ceremony by Jonathan Stone, then Artistic Director.[1] The design of the Main House is based upon the shape of an Elizabethan Courtyard or Inn Yard Theatre, from which the building takes its name.

The building contains a Studio theatre in addition to its Main House (and both double as cinemas), an art gallery and two conference rooms, on the ground and first floor. There is a rehearsal room/dance studio on the second floor. It has a total seating capacity of approximately 520, in both of its venues.[2] The studio has a third role as a lecture hall; it was from here that David Cameron launched his LibDems 4 Cameron campaign in December 2005.[3] The seating in both venues can be dismantled to create open spaces for events such as the annual Craft Fair (in the Main House) and the Comedy or Folk Club (in the Studio). Both the Main House and the Studio are sound proofed and are not linked structurally within the building, in order to eliminate sound conduction between the two. There is also a licenced Cafe-Bar which hosts a number of free events such as 'Jazz Cafe' (Saturday lunchtimes), 'Sunday Social' (Sunday afternoons) and 'Open Mike Night' (First Tuesday of the month).

Between 1998 and 2004 the centre received approximately 1.2 million visitors[4] and in 1999 it was described as being an "ultra-cool, rigorously modern" building.[5]

The Courtyard's patrons include Sir Derek Jacobi and Jo Brand.


  1. ^ The Independent (1998-07-28) More power to regional arts, retrieved 2007-01-18 (from Find Articles)
  2. ^ The Courtyard - About Us, retrieved 2007-01-18
  3. ^ BBC News (2005-12-16) Cameron urges Lib Dems to defect, retrieved 2007-01-18
  4. ^ BBC News (2004-07-24) Blow to theatre's facelift plans, retrieved 2007-01-18
  5. ^ Pearman, Hugh (1999-02-21) New look Britain - Architecture, The Sunday Times

External links

Coordinates: 52°03′40″N 2°43′08″W / 52.061°N 2.719°W / 52.061; -2.719