£10m rebuild for Holloway home of youth theatre gets go ahead

18:19 21 January 2014

Collage of the rear courtyard

Collage of the rear courtyard


An ambitious bid to keep James Bond star Daniel Craig’s former acting school in Holloway has moved a step closer.

The £10million plan to replace the rundown home of the National Youth Theatre (NYT) – which is also where Daniel Day-Lewis and Dame Helen Mirren first walked the boards – was given the nod by an Islington Council planning committee on Thursday.

The theatre has been in Holloway Road since 1987, but had been looking at options for a new home due to the dilapidated state of the current premises.

Now, thanks to local businessman Tom Shutes – whose bold plan includes turning the surrounding 12,900 sq ft plot into a cultural quarter, with 80 flats and courtyards for cafés and markets– the theatre’s place in the borough looks secure.

Mr Shutes said he was “delighted” and the plan was “genuinely exciting”.

He added: “We are really pleased that so many local people expressed their support for the plans, considering the scale and complexity of the site. In the coming years we really believe that this area of Islington will transform itself and the new ­facility for the NYT has the ­opportunity to be at the centre of this exiting redevelopment for years to come.


“We now look forward to working with the National Youth Theatre to restore the ­locally listed buildings and ­redevelop the adjoining factory site with new performance space, high quality new homes, shops and cafes, to create a new cultural hub for Holloway. We hope to start work on the site later this year.”

Joe Duggan, from the NYT, said: “We are really pleased with this decision and the future looks very bright now. We’re all excited. In the next month 1,000 young people will be coming through to audition.

“This new building will mean we can double our capacity – not just of the main school but also the free course we run for young people not in education, employment or training (Neets).

“Ten years ago former Doctor Who Matt Smith came through our doors and now he is back in Islington starring in American Psycho at the Almeida.

“Hopefully we will see more success stories like that.”

He added that it wasn’t yet clear whether the theatre would have to relocate while work was going on.


Latest Islington News Stories

49 minutes ago

As one of the busiest news patches in the country, the Gazette always has a long list of important issues to take up with Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn.


Islington Council reinforced its “idle engine” campaign with a giant snakes and ladders mat in Upper Street.

Yesterday, 18:23

A banned pet owner who crammed dozens of animals into her filthy Crouch Hill home has been spared jail – again.

Yesterday, 17:15

A drug dealer who sent a death threat to the councillor who closed Farringdon superclub Fabric has been jailed for eight months.

Yesterday, 14:42

Police are appealing for help to find 15-year-old Tia Harrold, who was last seen by her mother in Old Street on October 13.

Yesterday, 13:51

A 13-year-old boy was mutilated in an underground garage in Finsbury.

Yesterday, 12:10

Islington Council says it has convinced transport bosses to divert traffic away from the north of the borough during the “disastrous” three-month closure of Holloway Road – but motorists remain unimpressed.

Yesterday, 09:53

A piece of art by a man who once painted lines on playgrounds hangs in Jeremy Corbyn’s living room – and it’s so good the MP is in the market for another one.

Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news


Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more. Boots is the number one choice when it comes to purchasing daily essentials.

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now