Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts

Welcome to the newly renovated Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts. The multi-million pound refurbishment of the Grade II* listed building creates a world class, contemporary arts space. The public performance programme will launch in spring 2016.

The iconic building, designed by Sir Basil Spence and formerly known as the Gardner Arts Centre, has been closed since 2007. It has now been transformed into a modern, flexible environment for exhibitions and performance, and an important new teaching and research space for the University. The building takes its new title in tribute of the University’s former Chancellor Lord (Richard) Attenborough and his family. 

University of Sussex Vice-Chancellor Professor Michael Farthing said: ‘The University of Sussex has a long and proud history of nourishing artistic endeavour, and this refurbishment will go a considerable way to furthering this legacy. The Attenborough Centre is to become a creative hub for the University and the wider arts community both on a local and national level. It represents our deep commitment to investing in our campus and to providing an arts venue to be enjoyed by all.'

The space now hosts a state-of-the-art flexible auditorium with up to 350 seats (480 standing), gallery and display areas designed for art and audio visual installations, rehearsal studios, breakout creativite spaces, and a new café and bar - to be enjoyed by students, staff and the public.

 As one of the first university campus arts centres, the building has a storied 50-year history, and has previously seen internationally renowned performers such as Sir Ian McKellen, Gemma Jones, and comics Jack Dee and Lee Evans grace its stage. Sculptor Barbara Hepworth and modernist painter Marc Chagall have both exhibited works, and the likes of contemporary dance companies Ballet Rambert and physical theatre troupe Spymonkey have also appeared at the venue. In its new guise, the Attenborough Centre will continue to support emerging talent and established acts alike. 


Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts (August 2015)

Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts (August 2015)

3D Walkthrough of the Attenborough Centre




Attenborough Centre featured in The Brighton Argus

Local interest is growing in anticipation of the Centre's spring 2016 opening.

Lord Attenborough's Unseen Film and Theatre Treasures Find a Home at Sussex

The University of Sussex is to become the home for Lord (Richard) Attenborough’s extensive archive of personal and work papers related to the many years the Oscar-winning director spent in the film and theatre industry.

Sussex Unveils New Portrait of Lord Attenborough

The University of Sussex has unveiled a new portrait of Lord (Richard) Attenborough, who was Chancellor for ten years and who had an association with the University for almost 40 years.

University Commemorates Lord Attenborough with Giant Picture Show

A selection of stills and sequences from his films were used to form a specially commissioned work to honour Lord Attenborough, who was the University’s Chancellor from 1998 until 2008.

Looking for a creative space to hold events?

The Attenborough Centre Creativity Zone is a great place to hold workshops, seminars, talks and community engagement events.