Exeter Northcott Theatre at the Barnfield

We are delighted to announce that we’re taking over the management of Exeter’s Barnfield Theatre!

The Barnfield Theatre has been a much-loved part of Exeter’s cultural landscape for nearly 50 years, and we’ve been working with the Barnfield team to imagine what the next 50 might look like.

We’re planning to secure this important local venue for future generations, and realise its huge potential as a vibrant creative hub for artists, young people and the communities of Devon.

Operating across both our current theatre on the University campus, and the city-centre Barnfield site with its smaller performance spaces, we’re looking forward to offering a broader programme of events, and many more opportunities to explore, learn, take part and create.

We’ve got a three-step plan:

Step 1 – Protect the venue

  • We’ll carry out essential maintenance ahead of a full re-opening in late Spring/early Summer 2022, and start fundraising for further works to safeguard the building
  • We’ll work with community groups to support them getting back into the venue as soon as possible
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Step 2 – Unleash the potential

  • We’ll introduce more opportunities for young creatives, theatre-makers and community groups
  • We’ll expand the range of professional shows at the venue
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Step 3 – Transform the building

  • Inspired by the views and voices of a wide range of artists, young people and community groups we’ll work towards a major transformation of the building and its facilities
Illustration of the Barnfield's clocktower looking sparkly and new

We can’t do this without you!

We need you!

We need Devon-based artists, young people and communities to tell us what creative activities they want to see happening in the City, and get involved in helping us make that a reality. We need volunteers to assist us in running events at the venue, or to get involved in a DIY task force to help us breathe new life into the building. If you’re passionate about theatre and have time, skills and enthusiasm we’d love to hear from you. We’ll be putting a series of calls out in the New Year, but if you can’t wait that long get in touch at barnfield@exeternorthcott.co.uk.

Find out more…

Taking on the Barnfield Theatre is part of a bigger plan for what the Northcott wants to achieve in Exeter over the coming years. If you want to find out more, keep scrolling to take a look at our Business Plan and a short video about our direction of travel. If you’d like to feedback or have a conversation, get in touch – info@exeternorthcott.co.uk – we’d love to hear from you.

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Take a look at our outline Business Plan

Strategic planning for a cultural organisation like the Northcott is a dynamic process at the best of times, but over the last couple of years, as we’ve both adapted to the impacts of the pandemic and seized the opportunity to ask big questions about our place within the city, our business plans have been evolving faster than ever.

We’re committed to being as open as possible, involving an increasingly wide range of voices and perspectives in the conversations we’re having about how we develop as an organisation. Click on the link below to read an extract from our Outline Business Plan for 2022/2023, where you’ll find a snapshot of some of the discussions we’ve been having with our staff and Trustees in recent months to imagine the kind of organisation we want the Northcott to become over the next five years. We’re currently using this to inform the development of detailed plans for 2022/2023 that we expect to be publishing in February.

Making this public is about widening the conversation even further, so if you’d like to talk to someone about anything that you read in this plan, or share your ideas with us, we would love to hear from you.

Read our outline Business Plan

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