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UK City of Culture Hull to get 350-seat amphitheatre

The new venue, at the city's regenerated dry dock, is scheduled to be complete by Easter

By IQ on 12 Feb 2016

Stage @TheDock, Hull, Wykeland Group

image © Wykeland Group

A new 350-seat amphitheatre will open in Hull ahead of its year as UK City of Culture in 2017.

Property developer Wykeland Group will invest £700,000 to create the purpose-built open-air performance space, named Stage @TheDock, at the disused dry dock in the city’s Fruit Market ‘cultural quarter’. It will be operated by the Freedom Festival Arts Trust.

Stage @TheDock will comprise a decked performance area and terraced seating at the old central dry dock, which closed 20 years ago, and overlook the River Hull and the Humber Estuary.

The venue is expected to be completed by this Easter.

“We’re looking forward to working at a local, regional and national level to realise the venue’s full potential”

Mikey Martins, chief executive and artistic director of Freedom Festival Arts Trust, says: “The initial plans for the central dry rock were for it to become a high-quality area of public realm. However, Wykeland saw its further potential and, working with us and with the Hull UK City of Culture 2017 team, it soon became apparent we could go beyond that to create a new artistic space that can have real impact.

“The venue will be a test bed in the first year or so and, as a blank canvas space, we are looking for arts organisations – local and from further afield – to really get behind the venue, use the amazing location to their advantage and help us make it a success.

“We will also be exploring opportunities to broaden the programme of events beyond performance to respond to the versatility of the space, and will be working to develop some imaginative ideas on how it can be utilised throughout the year. It’s a hugely exciting prospect – we’re looking forward to working at a local, regional and national level to realise the venue’s full potential.”

The inaugural UK City of Culture was Londonderry (as Derry~Londonderry) in 2013.