Chester’s new £37m library and theatre, due to open at the end of this year, will be called Storyhouse. Until now the arts venue has been known by its project name, RE:NEW.
Operator Chester Performs has also changed its company name to reflect the building’s new identity.
Andrew Bentley, chief executive, said: “It’s a straightforward expression of the journey we have been on as a company, and where, together, we are going in this amazing new building. In time the name will of course become synonymous with our work, and we will be selling tickets under the Storyhouse brand from 17 March.”
Artistic director, Alex Clifton, added: “We will be running a building like no other. It needs a unique name to reflect its unique offer. This is a place to discover, make and share great stories. It’s a place to bring inspiring ideas to life. Storyhouse brilliantly captures and communicates the creative spirit of our integrated library, theatre and cinema.”
The news comes after an extensive search process led by Manchester brand agency True North, including a public consultation and extensive work with the centre’s stakeholders and partners, including Cheshire West & Chester Council, Arts Council England, and principal sponsor MBNA. Members of the public were invited to meet the brand designers and over 200 suggestions were submitted across two days of drop in sessions.
Cheshire West & Chester Council is investing over £30m in the scheme and managing its construction. Cllr Louise Gittins, cabinet member for culture, leisure and wellbeing, said: “I hope our residents will agree that Storyhouse is a wonderfully fitting name for a cultural centre that blends theatre, music, dance, literature and cinema.
“I have no doubt Storyhouse will itself prove a success story in the Council’s commitment to invest in inclusive leisure and culture to make our borough a great place to live and visit.”
The main contractor is Kier and the building was designed by Bennetts Associates, supported by Warrington-based Ellis Williams Architects during project delivery.
The new building incorporates a theatre which switches twice a year between an 800 seat proscenium space and 500 seat thrust festival stage, along with a 150 seat studio. Storyhouse will stage home produced productions for 50% of the year, with the theatre presenting the best of the country’s touring companies during the principal touring season.