Festival Theatre

Client The Windhorse Trust
Type Refurbishment
Use Theatre
Date 1998

The theatre, built in 1814, is one of the oldest in Britain and thought to be the work of architect William Wilkins, whose other projects include Downing College, Cambridge and the National Gallery. After a colourful and mixed success history, the Cambridge Arts Theatre purchased the derelict theatre in 1946 and had been using it as a workshop and costume store when they approached us.

Our role in the restoration of this Grade II listed theatre and the adjacent Georgian house began with completing a detailed survey and a series feasibility reports. These combined into a report in 1994 became the basis of the successful bid to the National Lottery to re-roof the theatre and introduce temporary heat and power.

In 1998, the Windhorse Trust brought both buildings to create the Cambridge Buddhist Centre. The work of restoration was completed to the house and the Theatre is once again in regular use for Buddhist festivals and large gatherings, and also concerts and performances.