The Nutshell - A New Arts Space in Winchester

by The Nutshell in Winchester SO23 8AF, England, United Kingdom

The Nutshell -  A New Arts Space in Winchester
We did it
On 29th September 2018 we successfully raised £3,000 with 67 supporters in 28 days

Your donations will help complete the fit out of The NUTSHELL, enabling it to become a thriving and inclusive arts space for all.

by The Nutshell in Winchester SO23 8AF, England, United Kingdom

The Nutshell – a New Arts Venue for Winchester

In a nutshell, Winchester has a problem. We are a City brimming with talent and creative ideas but finding somewhere for people to gather, prepare and rehearse is a nightmare; what we have is either unavailable, too expensive or, frankly, unsuitable.  

For Noël Jones, Harriet Morris (the driving force behind the award-winning ENCORE Youth Theatre and the Discarded Nut Theatre Company) and Anna Harding (The Spitfire Sisters and Co-Director of Winchester Jazz Festival) this was, frankly, unacceptable.  The great news is they have set about doing something about it. They went on a hunt to find a suitable building and found Winchester’s Former Antique Market. The Nutshell now needs your help to fund set-up costs, internal structural work, decorating, essential equipment and furniture to create the space Winchester deserves. 

The Story So Far

  • In early 2018, we began negotiations with WCC to take over the running of the Former Antique Market presenting our Business Proposal, which outlined our financial projections, vision and creative interest in the space.
  • After successful negotiations WCC agreed a favourable lease on the building including an initial rent-free period of six months.
  • In June 2018 we incorporated as a Community Interest Company ('The Nutshell Arts CIC') to oversee the management of The Nutshell, ensuring that the space was run to best benefit its resident companies, local creatives and the community. The Nutshell Arts CIC is run by a board of directors drawn from Winchester people.
  • At the beginning of August, contractors started works on our architects (Richard Harrison - Snug Architects) drawings and we are thrilled that the first stage of renovations are now complete.
  • We have a team of volunteers offering to assist with the building renovation, to support our marketing efforts and to muck in.

Architect's drawings for The Nutshell (Former Antique Market)

The Venue

Stage one and two of the contractors works at the venue are now completed. Stage one involved partitioning the ground floor space to create a rehearsal/workshop/exhibition space, offices for our resident companies and a lobby, as well as plumbing the toilets throughout, re-fitting a new electrical system and installing heating. Stage two of the fit-out has comprised of new flooring, painting of the exterior windows and fitting the kitchen in the first-floor space. What we raise through our crowdfunding page will pay this bill  


The ground floor of the Former Antique Market during initial viewing (left) and after stage one of fit-out (right).

The ground floor also now comprises of an office (left) and a lobby (right).

The first floor during first viewing (left) and during the flooring process (right).

Why We Need Your Help

The building is a workable and safe public space. But it is an empty space. We now need your help to fund painting, tiling, furniture and  audience seating and your donations will also be used to fund essential audio and lighting equipment. Help us bring our vision to life - a vibrant arts centre for everyone.

If you would prefer to donate equipment we would love to hear from you too, please email us:

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