Dugdale Arts Centre reopening date confirmed

The building has been closed to the public for two years but is now undergoing a major refurbishment, reports James Cracknell

Dugdale Arts Centre
Construction work continues to take place at Dugdale Arts Centre in Enfield Town

Dugdale Arts Centre is set to reopen this December – just in time for the festive season.

The council-owned building in Enfield Town has been undergoing a major £1.5million refurbishment since the spring, after previously closing during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns and being used as an NHS vaccination centre.

Enfield Council has now revealed the Dugdale will reopen on Friday, 16th December, when the art centre’s theatre will show a special production of Little Women: The Musical, the “heart-warming story following four sisters dealing with poverty, sisterhood and coming-of-age”.

While the 150-seat studio theatre space at the Dugdale remains unchanged and will continue to be used for larger performances, other areas of the building are being reconfigured to make “better use of the space” and ensure it is “fully inclusive, adaptable and accessible for all”.  

The council’s locally-sourced food caterers, EnFood, will continue to run the Dugdale’s café but will now also add a weekend evening service where diners will be able to enjoy music or comedy as they eat on Friday and Saturday evenings.

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The Dugdale’s gift shop, Made in Enfield, will return to provide a space for local makers to sell their wares, from poets to potters and much more.

There will also be a “more prominent home” on the ground floor for Enfield Museum, which will co-ordinate exhibitions showcasing the borough’s rich history – such as the mammoth bones dug up in Tatem Park.

The revamp has not been without controversy, however, with much of the criticism centring around the closure of the first-floor public space at the Dugdale, where Enfield Local Studies Library and Archive was previously based, to enable the expansion of office space for council staff. The studies library and archive is now split between two other council venues, ahead of a permanent relocation.

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The council’s former head of arts and culture, Paul Everitt, had also opposed the reduction of public space at the Dugdale shortly before he was placed on gardening leave and then later made redundant.

Enfield Council plans for the revamped Dugdale Centre, designed by architects Dallas-Pierce-Quintero
Enfield Council plans for the revamped Dugdale Centre, designed by architects Dallas-Pierce-Quintero

Chinelo Anyanwu, the council’s cabinet member for public spaces, culture and local economy, said: “The Dugdale Arts Centre is so much more than a performance space. It is a vibrant welcome point to Enfield Town and its new incarnation will offer a huge amount to the community.

“It is a showcase for everything that is made in Enfield – from food to music, craft to theatre production, people and history. We are aware that times are tough for many people which is why Enfield’s culture team has programmed a series of events to suit all tastes and budgets.”

The Dugdale’s refurbishment has been designed by award-winning architecture and design practice Dallas-Pierce-Quintero, in collaboration with TP Bennett.

For more information and to book tickets for upcoming events at the Dugdale:

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