A community venue
In the heart of Burton Upon Trent
The Brewhouse Arts Centre opened in 1991 by the Duke of Gloucester, after the tireless efforts of Burton and District Arts Council (BADAC) and the Theatre Project Committee who formed in 1971 to support the thriving arts and theatre scene here in Burton upon Trent.
Prior to what is now The Brewhouse Arts Centre, BADAC searched high and low for a venue within the town, considering venues such as Worthington house on the High Street or joint ventures with other disciplines and departments across the area. Eventually Bass Brewery made a philanthropic gift of one of their union system store houses in 1983 under the agreement that it would be used for the good of the community arts scene.
BADAC, who needed to find £250,000, set about raising funds to support the creation of the combined Theatre and Arts Centre which included sponsoring a brick, a theatre seat, or the opportunity to become a benefactor; which came with a wonderful package of benefits for the more culturally dedicated such as room hire discounts, free tickets for staff and even a pre-show buffet.
To communicate the progress of the build and encourage continued momentum and donations, a print bulletin was created that documented the progress and showed the people of Burton upon Trent behind the scenes and sneak peeks of what was to come. Upon its successful launch it was ran by the Charity Trust which saw it become a popular centre for the community, with many local theatre groups, dance and vocal schools making the best of this dedicated space.
Eventually, a new director was bought in to oversee the programming of the auditorium and started to bring in professional performances and artists, putting the town firmly on the touring circuit and proving to be a huge success. During this time the bar, Box Office and stewarding was delivered by a dedicated team of volunteers who worked tirelessly to ensure performers and visitors had a wonderful experience.
Funding cuts by The Arts Council and programming difficulties saw the Charitable Trust hit financial difficulties and eventually went into liquidation. East Staffordshire Borough Council stepped in and took over The Brewhouse, appreciating the importance of its place within the community and the local arts scene. Unfortunately this was not the last of the unforeseen tragedies to strike The Brewhouse, in 2006 a fire destroyed the box office and caused extensive smoke damage to large parts of the building, this led to the installation of a new bar, box office and floor for the Dance Studio and was re-opened to the public by Queen Elizabeth II later that year.
Through its rich history, trials and tribulations and sheer dedication or the creative community, The Brewhouse remains a much loved and important cornerstone of the town, it continues to champion the arts, ensures accessibility and a friendly and wondrous experience for all.
Huge thanks to Mike Mear for providing the history of the Brewhouse.
We’re here to
Who we are
Our small team of events lovers and clever creativities are passionate about making The Brewhouse a place the community can enjoy. If you’d like to get in touch, you can find their contact details below.
Box Office Manager