Woolwich Works, the capital's 'next landmark cultural destination' here in south east London, is to open to public in September, and has announced an exciting lineup of events.

The £31.6 million restoration project has transformed industrial buildings on the Royal Arsenal into what it describes as 'London's newest cultural district'.

Opening on September 23, 2021, those behind Woolwich Works have announced the first wave of its programme of unique live shows, art exhibitions and workshops from both world-renowned and local artists.

Sara Pascoe, Ashley Henry, Afrikan Boy and Reg D Hunter are among the diverse line up.

News Shopper:

James Heaton, Woolwich Works Chief Executive, comments: “The objectives for Woolwich Works are wide and varied, but whether looking at jobs and skills, economic impact, inclusion, education or inspiration, there is no arts centre without artists.

"As we announce our first performances and events I’m not only excited about them themselves, but for the huge potential for Woolwich Works to contribute to building a brighter future, for Greenwich and London that doing so starts to unlock.”

News Shopper:

A multi-disciplinary arts hub, the site will include theatres, concert venues, dance studios, a recording studio, offices and places to entertain including a 1,200 seated or 1,800 standing performance venue.

News Shopper:

Whilst hit by some delays prompted by Covid-19, the Greenwich Council-led project will create an arts destination for people from across London, England and beyond, according to Cllr Danny Thorpe, leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich.

"Woolwich is the civic and cultural centre of the borough.

"People have long said that London is shifting east, and to be opening Woolwich Works in our part of the city is further proof of that.

"I passionately believe that the arts and culture should be accessible for people from all walks of life, and I’m really pleased that our residents, community groups and schools will be able to make the most of such brilliant opportunities.”

Acclaimed jazz musician Ashley Henry will open the show on September 30, joined by special guests, before Beezkat's synth alt-pop will close their first month.

News Shopper:

October will see the cultural hub celebrate Black History Month, working with artists from places including Mali, Nigeria and Cape Verde but also surrounding areas in Woolwich and wider Greenwich to celebrate the borough's diversity.

The programme will include bringing together Tommy Blaize and Reginald D Hunter (6th October), two of the country’s most distinctive and soulful voices, and the 24-piece big band of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO) for a unique performance celebrating the work of legendary soul singer and author, Gil Scott-Heron.

Artist Tommy Blaize, said: “I’m very excited to be a part of the inaugural programme at this brand new live music and arts venue in South-East London, and to be celebrating the music of such an important artist.”

News Shopper:

Also performing later in the month, Woolwich-born MC Afrikan Boy, a friend and supporter of the project, said: “Woolwich Works is like a breath of fresh air in Woolwich.

"As a local artist and youth worker I believe this space is going to hugely benefit the community it is nestled in. Large open spaces and professional grade studios will open the opportunities for young creatives.”

Experience Live at The Works With Sara Pascoe and stand-up master Ed Gamble for a mixed-bill stand-up night (20th November) which will leave you laughing the restored walls down. Jazznewblood will present their annual showcase (20th November), providing a stage for six artists to present their original music.