The £15.2 million mac and sampad Building Project reopened to the public on 1 May 2010 having been closed since April 2008. The eager public were introduced to a newly refurbished, and much improved, arts centre built to meet the needs of both artists and the region's vibrant community.
Jointly funded by Arts Council England, Birmingham City Council and a mac and sampad fundraising campaign, the development has dramatically improved mac's ability to offer exciting events and activities as well as improving physical access. In short, mac has a more efficient and effective home – as well as a more attractive one!
A purpose designed gallery, a first for mac, provides opportunities to maximise the commissioning of work by leading national and international visual artists, craft makers and performance artists. All existing visual arts, crafts and performing arts studios have been fully refurbished. The redevelopment includes a completely new visual arts education suite and a dedicated audio and visual media studio. This studio has the ability for live transmission to any other space in the building along with the capacity to capture video and audio live from any space in the centre.
The current theatre has been completely stripped out allowing the team to replace the antiquated seating, lighting and sound systems and also have new, retractable - and comfortable - seating. The flexible performance space will allow for flat floor formats that will be able to accommodate more touring companies and to provide some much-needed audience dancing space for some of our more spirited music gigs. The Foyle Studio is a new performing arts venue equipped for rehearsal, theatre, dance making and performance with seating for almost 150 people, thanks to the support of the Charles Henry Foyle Trust.
Put simply, the development, ten years in the making, has dramatically improved mac’s ability to offer exciting events and activities for all its audiences as well as improving physical access. The new entrance bridge improves access to the building and park beyond, particularly for visitors with specific access requirements, and the building itself now boasts lifts, more loos and bigger café and bar areas. And now, we're greener and more energy-efficient too.
The new mac will secure the future of mac and sampad for the next generation.
mac Opening Times
mac is open from 9am to 11pm daily.
Gallery Opening Times
Tuesday until Saturday - Noon until 8pm
Sunday - 11am until 4pm
Monday - Closed except for Bank Holidays when the Gallery will be open Noon - 8pm
The Arena and Terrace Galleries are open from 9am to 11pm.