Shoreditch Town Hall is run and managed by Shoreditch Town Hall Trust. A fully independent charitable company, the Trusts aims are to establish the Hall as a creative and cultural destination venue in Shoreditch, for our local community in Hackney and beyond. If the first ten years of the Trust have been about saving and restoring a landmark building, the next ten will be about animating and bringing its spaces to life. Our ambition is to develop an exciting contemporary arts and live performance programme, celebrating and fully harnessing the buildings unique spaces and location in one of the most vibrant areas of London.
Opened in 1866 Shoreditch Town Hall was for over 100 years one the grandest Vestry Halls in London and a major civic hub. However, from 1965, when the Boroughs of Shoreditch and Stoke Newington merged to form the larger London Borough of Hackney, the Town Hall ceased to be a centre of municipal administration and with lack of use, gradually began to fall into disrepair; it was placed on English Heritage’s ‘Buildings At Risk’ register in 1996. In 1997, following a passionate community led campaign, Shoreditch Town Hall Trust was formed to take over the running of the building, taking a 99 year lease in 2002. Over the next four years the Trust raised over £1.5m and invested in the first ‘foundation phase’ of capital works. In 2006, following the successful completion of this phase, the building was removed from the ‘at risk’ register and reopened for public use.
Having established the venue as a vibrant events space, since 2010 the Trust entered a new and exciting phase, developing a programme of theatre and performance in addition to this existing activity and welcoming artists and creative companies into the building for the first time to make and present work. Simultaneously, the Trust has invested a further £400,000 in first of a final two part capital programme, achieving – for the first time in its history – a Public Entertainment License up to a capacity of 499. Looking ahead, the Trust is raising the funds to complete the final phase of the capital programme, which will see the full capacity of the venue realised – including 800 audience in the Assembly Hall – and the remaining spaces currently out of use brought back into use.