2012 and beyond…
2012 marks the beginning of an exciting period of change and development for The Castle, as we foresee being able to sign to a new 10 year contract with Borough Council Wellingborough. What this will mean to you, our customer, is the realisation of our pledge to keep theatre at the heart of Wellingborough.
As we adapt to economic changes to our funding, we have taken this opportunity to re-evaluate ourselves at staff and board level and following a period of re-structure, we’re ready to look towards the future with a rejuvenated energy!
The first major step in our new era, is a brand new website and box office system which is bursting full of delicious content on forthcoming shows and films and brings you features like ‘select your own seat’. You can also discover how you can get involved with The Castle, from becoming a Friend and enjoying exclusive benefits, to taking part in our classes for children and Adults.
This year we will also be stepping up our long term plans to bring state of-the-art digital cinema to Wellingborough, as we invest in new technology in our main and studio theatres. So if you fancy watching new and art-house movies in comfortable surroundings, keep visiting our NEWS section for more information.
During the summer, we will also be making changes to our Café-bar restaurant area, as we undergo some exciting structural changes to our current satellite kitchen and introduce a new daytime bistro. We’ll be ready to announce more details soon but it will be business as usual, so if you’d like to pop in for coffee or a bite to eat, you can find out more in our bar & restaurant section.
But how did The Castle begin?
In 1988 the Wellingborough Arts Association, approached the Borough Council of Wellingborough with the intention of providing a permanent home for the arts within the town. In the same year Wellingborough School was also exploring possibilities of building a theatre on their site in Irthlingborough Road and approached the Council with a view to financial input for shared use with the community. Rejected as proposal by the Council, Croyland Park, adjacent to the town's swimming pool, was offered by the Council as a free site to develop.
Due to various problems with the site the present site, formally the area's cattle market and latterly a supermarket base, became available in early 1992 and following an imaginative scheme by architects PDD of Milton Keynes and submitted by builders, Marriot Limited of Rushden, building work began in 1993 and was completed in January 1995.
The complex which successfully combined a 500 seat auditorium, foyer bar, brasserie and art gallery with the existing Cattle Market buildings containing an 84 seat studio theatre, rooms for rehearsals and other arts activities together with administrative offices, was officially opened by Jeremy Irons on 30th March, 1995.
Back to the future
In 2010, following a management team project looking at our customer perceptions, various upgrades to the image and foyer were implemented which included: a new logo, new furniture and uniforms; supported with financial help from the Friends organisation who have raised over£200k since the opening and who continue to be active supporters of The Castle.