Work has started on providing Mountview Academy for Theatre Arts with a multimillion-pound home at Eagle Wharf by Peckham Library.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held on 16 May as the first stone was placed on the 9,500sq m development, which will include training facilities, 18 dance and acting studios, two public theatre spaces, two TV studios, a radio suite and production facilities.
A commercial rehearsal space and co-working space will also be provided when the scheme completes in autumn 2018, along with a café, bars and a rooftop restaurant.
The academy’s principal and artistic director Stephen Jameson said the project will “secure the future of Mountview”.
Mountview Academy is 72 years old, and for the last 30 it has been in temporary accommodation on an industrial site in Wood Green, north London.
Rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted in 2015, it offers courses in musical theatre, classical acting and production arts. It also trains producers, musical directors and directors.
Around 400 students from more than 30 countries are enrolled at courses at the academy, which receives around 2,500 applications every year and whose alumni include Eddie Marsan (Ray Donovan and Still Life), Ken Stott (The Hobbit) and Rebecca Trehearn (Showboat).
Students currently attending the first year will be the first to move into the new premises in September 2018.
“The new site will mean that, for the first time, our entire community will be under one roof,” Jameson told Southwark magazine.
“At the moment we do not have our own theatre. Having one will make life so much easier for our production arts students.”
A number of initiatives will be organised to engage with Peckham residents and local schools.
“Being able to bring the excellence of our training into the community is a fantastic opportunity,” said Jameson.
An art gallery dedicated to science has launched its first exhibition after opening in September.