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Project information

Closing phase of redevelopment campaign

Sherman Cymru is in the final stages of its redevelopment to transform south Wales's only producing theatre building into a high quality cultural venue. Not only an iconic building, but a home for performance, participation, engagement, and involvement in the arts, for all members of the community

October 2010 - December 2011

Charity information: Sherman Theatre

Sherman Theatre logo
  • Need


    Built in 1973, Sherman Cymru's building has had little capital expenditure in its 40 year life. As a busy producing theatre in a capital city, the building no longer reflected or could physically cope with the amount of creative activity being produced. In 2008/09, 52,000 came to see productions and 7,000 young people experienced participatory creative work. To enable Sherman Cymru to offer the creative provision needed, we need a quality of building that can achieve this.


    The £6 million redevelopment will transform the Sherman Cymru building into a cultural venue that will reflect the quality of work that is happening. Sherman Cymru will be able to offer engagement in the arts for all members of the community through performance, participation, artist development and tranformative involvement. The building will also for the first time, be accessible to wheelchair users, this removing all barriers to inclusion in the arts in Cardiff's only producing theatre.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Achieve a high level of access throughout the new building


    » The installation of three lifts in the building. Two front of house and one backstage.
    » The levelling out all of the floor levels. Ridding the building of the small flights of stairs, and replacing with low gradient ramps when needed
    » Dropping the height of ground level in the front of house areas to enable direct access from pavement level into the building.
    » Changing the access to the studio venue from a flight of stairs to direct ground level access for all audience members.

    What success will look like

    Success will be increased numbers of wheelchair users in the building, and a level of service that is equal for all with no barriers to inclusion.

    Aim 2

    Transform the front of house areas and entrance to the building.


    » Reconfigure the whole of the front of house area and entrance to the building, making it more welcoming, inviting and easier to use.

    What success will look like

    Success will be all visitors to the building wanting to spend more time socializing and using the front of house facilities, which will result in increased income from the cafe bar

    Aim 3

    Provide a more comfortable experience for audience members in both auditoriums


    » New seating to be installed in both the main auditorium (460 seats) and the studio theatre (180 seats).

    What success will look like

    Success will be increased number of repeat audience members, who are comfortable while watching performances in both the mainhouse and studio venue

    Aim 4

    Improve the experience for participants, practitioners and performers when working in the building


    » Reconfiguration of backstage facilities including the rehearsal and creative space provision.
    » New build rehearsal room and creative space that will be of equivalent size to the mainstage performance area.

    What success will look like

    Success will be more of the company's participatory work being able to take place in the building and not have to rely on external spaces. People working in appropriate spaces.

    Aim 5

    Increase audience numbers by 21% over the first three years after reopening, to 65,000.


    » With improved facilities and envionment in the building, visitor's experiences will be enhanced so that more people want to spend more time at Sherman

    What success will look like

    Success will be that audience figures increase rapidly over the first few years and that participation numbers also increase.

  • Impact


    The project will transform Sherman Cymru's building and ensure that Cardiff has a producing theatre that serves the audiences, participants, artists and communities of today and for future generations. The success will be demonstrated by increased audience and participant figures alongside the sustained high quality standard of work, and the development of Sherman Cymru's reputation as one of the Uk's key producing and receiving venues.


    The risks that could effect this project are connected to timing and funding. The project could suffer severe delays, which could then have an effect on the financial stability of the redevelopment. We have dealt with this by ensuring a suitable contingency element in both the project schedule and the budget. We have also developed strong and hoenst working relationships with the design, project and construction team to ensure challenges are responded to quickly and solutions are agreed.


    Donors to this project will recieve regular letters which will give an update to the progress of the project, as well as progress with the fundraising campaign. They will also recieve invitations to events connected to the new building. More detailed evaluation documents can also be produced.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £5,990,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £4,825,000 Construction Construction costs
      £1,165,000 Fees & Othercosts Professional & Legal Fees/ fixture and fittings/ Public Art

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Public Sector £5,055,000 Guaranteed
    Grant giving trusts £356,000 Guaranteed
    Individual donations £40,000 Guaranteed
    Corporate Sector £11,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Situated on the coast, Cardiff is the capital city of Wales. It has a population of 350,000, and there are 415,000 people living within a 45 minute drivetime of Sherman Cymru. The theatre is situated in the residental and student populated area of Cathays. The surrounding communities are mixed, with many modest income families, and communities made up of low income households, as well as the student popualation of approximately 30,000. Sherman has been at the centre of the community for 40 years


    A wide demographic of the population will benefit from the redevelopment, including the immediate population of Cardiff and the surrounding areas - south Wales valleys, Bridgend and the Vale of Glamorgan. Local secondary and primary schools, and colleges will also benefit, as well as those communities which are marginalised for ethnicity or cultural backgrounds.
    Sherman has always been associated with high quality creative experiences for all, especially young people. This will only develop.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Sherman Cymru has a 40 years history of successfully producing and presenting high quality experiences for all members of the community in Cardiff and south Wales. In recent years the building has deteriorated rapidly, and a new look Sherman Cymru is needed to enable the company to continue and expand the artistic oppotunities that we offer to all, and encouraged more people to enjoy artisitc experiences, as we recognise the importance this has on people's lives.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Chris Ricketts

    Chris is Sherman Cymru's Director, and is leading the Capital Project on behalf of Sherman Cymru as well as managing the company's artistic operation

    Jonathan Adams

    Jonathan Adams is the project's lead architect, working for Capita Architecture. Jonathan was responsible for the striking Wales Millennium Centre

    Hamed Khan

    Hamed is the Project Manager. Hamed is responsible for the smooth running of the project, and communication with the design and construction teams