18 mai 2023

Roundhouse unveils Roundhouse Works - home to the next generation of creative talent

Today, Roundhouse launched Roundhouse Works, a new creative centre for young people at the heart of the Roundhouse’s creative campus. 

For over 15 years, Roundhouse has equipped young people with the skills to succeed in the creative industries. They have worked with tens of thousands of young people, supporting the creative development of many including the likes of actor Daniel Kaluuya, musician Little Simz and comedy writer Jack Rooke. 

Now in its third year, our relationship with the Roundhouse Trust has made a huge impact on the young creatives it supports and on our people too. Roundhouse Works will double the number of 18–30-year-olds the Roundhouse currently works with each year to 15,000. The new building houses a bespoke large music studio, a triple height studio for circus and performance, a large multi-use studio for workshops, and a dedicated podcast studio run by Transmission Roundhouse. 

Roundhouse Works provides space and state-of-the-art facilities to support young people to turn their creativity into a career, something that’s needed by young people and the creative sector itself. 

The creative industries are booming, contributing £109 billion to the economy in 20211 , rebounding strongly after the pandemic. However, the industry is crying out for diverse talent, with a shortage of workers expected in many industries including broadcast and tech.

Despite the need for creative talent, the challenges blocking young people from making a career have become increasingly acute: 

  • The cost-of-living crisis is making a career in the creative industries even harder with almost half of young people in a precarious financial situation.
  • Practices in the creative industries such as the prevalence of unpaid internships are closing the sector off to many.
  • People from under-represented socio-economic backgrounds and people who identify as having a disability experience these barriers more acutely. 

Roundhouse Works is responding to these challenges by offering young creatives aged 18-30, affordable membership alongside financial assistance with other costs such as travel or childcare, as well as holistic support from its in-house youth workers. Roundhouse is also forming industry partnerships to aid progression routes into the sector. 

Marcus Davey, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of Roundhouse, said: “The UK is in danger of losing a generation of creative talent but the Roundhouse sits in a unique position to combat this. We have a track record of equipping young people with the skills to succeed in the arts and creative industries and we also have the connection to industry to open up some of those pathways, removing so many barriers young people face. Only by investing in young people can we ensure that the UK reaches its creative potential and Roundhouse Works is a huge step-change for us to achieve this.” 

Roundhouse Works was opened by Sir Keir Starmer KC, MP for Holborn & St Pancras, who took a tour of the building and met a number of young people who will benefit from the new facility.

Sir Keir Starmer KC, MP for Holborn & St Pancras, said: “I’ve always been proud to support the Roundhouse and am consistently impressed by their work to support young people into the creative industries, the leading light of the UK economy. “Roundhouse Works is a great example of the level of ambition we need across the country to equip the next generation with the skills and support they need to succeed in the arts.” 

As well as developing well-known talent and creative leaders, Roundhouse supports young people to develop creative skills that benefit them in all walks of life - helping to improve their confidence, communication skills and self-esteem. 70 percent of young people at the Roundhouse have said that their time there had improved their transferable skills. Roundhouse alumni overwhelmingly attribute their time at the Roundhouse with supporting them into education, training or employment with 91% saying it helped them take that next step. 

The new building will also include the Inflexion Workspace, an affordable workspace for creative entrepreneurs and freelancers. Members of Roundhouse Works will be provided with one-to-one mentorship with industry experts and have access to a series of networking events and workshops which have been piloted over the past three years with partners including Taylor Wessing. The firm is also currently supporting The Last Word Festival's Roundhouse Poetry Slam Final which will take place in June. 

Haami Nyangibo, Roundhouse Works member and winner of the Roundhouse Accelerator Programme with Nyangibo Gallery, said: "At Nyangibo Gallery, we celebrate the power of creativity to shape our world in exciting new ways, which is why I'm looking forward to being a part of Roundhouse Works. The Roundhouse Accelerator Programme connected me to a diverse network of creative businesses and gave me the guidance and space to grow my own business - including hosting my first exhibition there in June." 

Talia Augustidis who has her own podcast, UnReality, on Transmission Roundhouse said: "I came into the Roundhouse during the pandemic and it opened up opportunities for me to meet other creatives and really build a community, especially with other podcasters. The Roundhouse Studios are such an inspiring place to be and it's really helped my career progression, Roundhouse Works will do even more for creatives." 

Roundhouse Works has been funded by private trusts, individuals and corporate donations with principal support from Inflexion Foundation and Simon Turner with the generous donation of the land from the Norman Trust. 

Roundhouse Works is designed by Paddy Dillon architect, with Reed Watts Architects and Allies and Morrison with particular emphasis on reducing the building's impact on the environment. In particular, the sustainably sourced trees used for the cross-laminated timber structure sequester over 250 tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere while the recycled railway sleepers used on the facade save 8 tonnes of CO2 compared to other forms of cladding. 

As a result, and following the integration of solar panels on the roofs, electric vehicle charging points, LED lighting, automatic lighting controls, and other energy efficiency elements, Roundhouse Works has achieved the highly sought-after BREEAM 'Excellent' sustainability accreditation. This will put its environmental performance in the top 10 percent of all new non-domestic buildings in the UK. It is also fully accessible and includes a Space for Change facility. 

Paddy Dillon, Roundhouse Works architect, said: “Roundhouse Works comes out of hours of conversations to identify exactly what young people need. It’s a response to the Roundhouse site – but more importantly it tries to stay as close as possible to the spirit of the Roundhouse, and the young people who work there. It’s been a complete pleasure to work on this project, knowing this space will benefit tens of thousands of young people in the years to come. 

Matt Watts, Director, Reed Watts Architects, said: "This new building represents the culmination of an intense and rewarding collaboration with an incredible group of individuals - the creative team at the Roundhouse in particular. We've worked hard to significantly reduce the embodied carbon in the building's fabric with the internal timber structure and reclaimed, timber, railway sleepers on the façades. The result of this is a brilliant resource for Camden's young people that wears its heart on its sleeve and that reflects our shared commitment to future generations as well as the site's long association with the railway behind it. We're excited to see it come to life over the coming months and years." 

The unveiling of Roundhouse Works supports a new legacy and further investment in creativity, emphasising the natural affinity between the work the Roundhouse is doing to inspire young people and the importance Taylor Wessing places on supporting the arts, inclusion and the community. 

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