Chichester Festival Theatre to create new performance space

(C) Chichester Festival Theatre 2024 - Artist impression of The Nest

Chichester Festival Theatre has been given planning permission for a third performance space.

The space, called - The Nest, will be a 120-seat studio theatre created to be a vibrant hub for talent development and innovative community performances for those starting their careers.

Theatre bosses say the building is designed to complement existing spaces and will be located between the Festival Theatre and Northgate car park.

Justin Audibert and Kathy Bourne, Artistic and Executive Directors of Chichester Festival Theatre, said: ‘We’re thrilled that Chichester District Council have endorsed our plans for The Nest, which is designed to help grow emerging talent while providing much needed support for community groups and initiatives, and a real opportunity to enhance Chichester’s night life. The core of the new building will be an existing temporary structure, previously located in London and Edinburgh. By reusing an existing building, sustainability is at the proposal’s heart.’

The planning approval marks a significant milestone in the project, with fundraising efforts underway. Sarah Mansell, Appeal Director, adds: ‘We know audiences and visitors have a real appetite for smaller, more informal theatre spaces (such as our previous venues The Tent, Theatre on the Fly and The Spiegeltent). We have an ambitious fundraising goal of at least £1.5 million to ensure The Nest meets the highest standards of excellence and accessibility, and are very grateful to all those who have donated so far. Please join them if you can!’

Sam Mendes, the director of Hollywood blockbusters such as 1917 and Skyfall, who began his career at Chichester, is a Patron of the Appeal, saying: ‘Nurturing the next generation of artists is vital to ensure that theatre in the UK maintains its international reputation for excellence. I am delighted to support Chichester Festival Theatre – a place dear to my heart – as they embark on creating this exciting new space. I cannot wait to see the work that is incubated in The Nest!’

For more details on the plans for The Nest and how to donate, please visit

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