Central School of Ballet set to move centre stage to the South Bank

Photograph: Alex Lentati

The school will move from Clerkenwell to be based between Tate Modern and the National Theatre. The South Bank’s status as a cultural hub is getting a major boost, courtesy of a new world-class ballet school.

A site in the Paris Gardens building, between Tate Modern and the National Theatre, has been identified as the home for the Central School of Ballet, which is moving from Clerkenwell. The school runs a touring company and offers degrees in choreography and dance. It has raised £3 million for the project and needs another £6 million.

More than 1,200 people pass through its doors every week and it has started working with south London schools ahead of its relocation in time for the start of the academic year 2018/19.

Its patron, the Countess of Wessex, said the move was “momentous” for the school, founded 35 years ago “on the principle that talented young dancers should get the opportunity to pursue dance as a career independent of financial circumstances or background”.

She said it “will allow a greater engagement with young people who don’t get access to dance classes”.

The bespoke centre will let the school take more students and include accommodation, studios, a theatre and a health centre. Director Heidi Hall said it would “provide world-class facilities to match our students’ ambition”.

She added: “We will have space to grow, to nurture creativity, to inspire partnerships and to encourage the local community to experience our passion for dance.”

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