mac is back – save the date

By on 05/02/2010 in News

The wait is over. The team at mac and sampad are delighted to announce that the centre will be opening its doors on 1 May 2010. After two years of hard work, and a £15m expansion and refurbishment project the centre will be unveiled over May Bank Holiday Weekend with shows and performances, and plenty of free  activities to encourage visitors to explore the dynamic spaces within the new building

The original buildings, developed in the sixties, have been re-imagined as a totally integrated centre with new spaces embracing and enhancing existing, refurbished spaces. New spaces include a purpose designed gallery, a first for mac, creating opportunities to maximise the commissioning of work by leading national and international visual artists, craft makers and performance artists.

The theatre has been completely stripped out allowing the team to replace plant and specialist equipment, replace seating – increasing capacity and ensure the space is flexible for an even wider range of events and activities. A brand new performing arts studio has also been equipped for rehearsal, theatre, dance making and performance with retractable seating for almost 150 people.

With a thorough refurbishment of existing visual arts and performing arts studios there has also been a significant increase in studio spaces. In particular, the addition of a dedicated visual and audio media studio complete with capacity for live capture and transmission to and from any other space in the wifi enabled building, the arts centre has been brought right up to date. Accessibility has been a core mac value since it first opened its doors and physical accessibility was a real challenge. From the new access pedestrian bridge to passenger lift access throughout and a new central concourse connecting all parts of the building, the arts centre is finally fully accessible to everyone.

Highlights over the opening weekend include the grand finale of The City Sings, a new anthem developed in celebration of mac's re-opening, performances by Misty's Big Adventure and Vijay Kashore, whilst sampad present United Colours of Dance as part of Birmingham International Dance Festival. In addition, there will be guided tours around the building, a variety of workshops, audio trails as part of the Amplifying the Map project, DJs and much more.

Dorothy Wilson, Chief Executive at mac said: “We want everyone to make sure they save the date, over ten years in the making, the Building Project has created a dynamic and exciting arts centre that offers vastly improved spaces for audiences and artists alike, I can't wait to show people around on May Bank Holiday Weekend.”




Sally Luton, Regional Executive Director, Arts Council England West Midlands said: “We are delighted to support mac’s new development which brings the facilities right up to date. The mac team have created an extraordinary and beautiful space that will allow staff, artists and the public to truly enjoy an arts centre fit for 21st Century use. mac and sampad already have a loyal customer base and I’m sure the new building will allow them to reach out to many more.”

Cllr Martin Mullaney, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Sport and Culture said: “This is a welcome and exciting return for the much loved mac and an exciting development for the arts here in Birmingham.

“Birmingham City Council is proud to have played a major role in the redevelopment and I'm sure mac can make a significant contribution if we win the race to be the UK's first City of Culture in 2013.”

The £15m Building Project, undertaken by local contractors Thomas Vale Construction, has been made possible through the generosity of many donors; major investors Birmingham City Council and Arts Council England, and through the mac fundraising appeal, which has raised over £2million from corporate sponsors, trusts and individual supporters.

mac's summer programme will go on sale later this month via the new website, by postal booking forms and from our Sales and Information Line on 0121 446 3232*. Watch press for more details and bookmark


4 February 2010
Press Enquiries:  Helen Annetts, PR
   Mob: 07779 026720 OR Email:

   Neil Holland, PR & Online Officer
   0121 446 3237
*Sales and Information Line subject to temporary opening hours until mac re-opens on 1 May.  Weekdays 10am to 2pm.

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