The Performing Arts Precinct is the city's outlet for creative performance, offering first-rate facilities for music, drama, dance and other performing arts.
One of the anchor projects in the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan, the Performing Arts Precinct will draw people into the central city and provide facilities for local and touring musicians and performance artists.
The Performing Arts Precinct, which is being built in the block bounded by Armagh, Gloucester, Colombo and New Regent Streets, will provide facilities for local and touring musicians and performance artists.
The Precinct is adjacent to the Isaac Theatre Royal, which reopened in 2014 after significant restoration and The Piano: Centre for Music and Arts, which opened in 2016. It is within easy walking distance of the Christchurch Town Hall and Victoria Square. It sits alongside Tūranga, the Convention Centre Precinct, and the retail and hospitality area of New Regent Street.
The Performing Arts Precinct is a partnership between the Council and the Crown. The Council is developing the facilities – with its contribution capped at $30 million – and the Crown is providing the land.
In October 2018, the Council set up a Theatre Working Group to develop a feasibility study that identified a cost-effective option for a secure, long-term and sustainable location for The Court Theatre within the Performing Arts Precinct.
In March 2019, the Council agreed to go ahead with a new home for The Court Theatre within the Precinct. This was based on a business case that looked at the inclusion of The Court in the Performing Arts Precinct.
The initial concept design for The Court Theatre includes a main theatre with seating for 360 people; a studio theatre with seating for 150 people; a foyer with space for food and bar facilities; rehearsal rooms and back of house facilities; workshop, production and educational spaces and offices for The Court's staff.
The planning work that's been done as part of the business case allows for an additional black-box community-style theatre to be developed in the future within the Performing Arts Precinct if budget becomes available. It's not, however, currently included in the scope.
In September 2019, the Council agreed to move to concept design stage for a new Court Theatre(external link). Draft commercial and lease agreements are being finalised.
We're also looking at options for providing parking within, or near, the Performing Arts Precinct site. There is demand for more car parking north of Cathedral Square, particularly with the introduction of new facilities post-earthquake, including Tūranga and Te Pae (Convention Centre), which is under construction.
We're asking for interest from developers to build a car park with approximately 320 carparks. We expect the proposed new carpark to be completed by late 2021.
A collective vision
The Council and the Central Christchurch Development Unit jointly managed development of the Performing Arts Precinct site before the disestablishment of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority. They worked with a stakeholder group to develop a shared vision of what the Performing Arts Precinct could be.
Rebuilding the Central City with the Performing Arts: The vision for the Performing Arts Precinct [PDF, 2.1 MB] describes the shared vision and aims to provide a picture in people's minds as to what the Precinct could be.
It picks up on themes from the Share an Idea campaign around activation, vibrancy, diversity, mixed uses, collaboration, and access for all.