The Ulverston community look to the future for their quirky participatory arts venue.

Ulverston Community Enterprises
Ulverston, Cumbria
RIBA Work Stage
  • Architect
APEC embarked on an architectural options study, alongside a marketing consultant and arts business planner for the redevelopment of this local landmark.

The Ulverston Coronation Hall, affectionately known as ‘The Coro’ by local people, was built over 100 years ago via public subscription. In 2016, it was transferred to Ulverston Community Enterprises, an organisation that was expressly set up to run Ulverston’s markets and The Coro, as they were at risk of being lost to the community. The Coronation Hall is held in great affection by the Ulverston community. It is a place that many people will have an association with due to memories of events attended, and the sense of civic/ communal pride it evokes in people. 

Four years in, due to its success so far, The Coro started to look to the future. The Coro commissioned Courtney Consulting and APEC Architects to undertake an options appraisal of the Coronation Hall that explored ways to reconfigure and possibly extend the building to support a strong business case, in a way that is compatible with The Coro’s vision, mission and values, and that will respect and enhance the heritage and legacy of the Coronation Hall. 

Whilst lockdown prevented us engaging with the Theatre’s wide range of stakeholders in conventional ways, we adapted methods to use a combination of remote virtual tours, telephone calls, questionnaires, social media groups and virtual meetings to reach people. 

In close collaboration with an energetic client group, several options were explored and appraised alongside the arts business planner’s input. An ambitious scheme was identified as the preferred option and was developed further; with artists impressions bringing to life the most significant intervention that included an extension to the building’s unremarkable south frontage which addresses a main road. The proposed scheme sought to raise the profile of the building through the architectural and marketing revamp, and to meet The Coro’s vision for a thriving, quirky participatory arts venue and meeting place.

Thank you so much to all of you for a thoroughly engaging, exciting and detailed presentation... we really hope to be working with you again in the future - this has been an entirely positive experience for us and we are very glad we chose you to work with.

Ceri HuttonChair of Board of Trustees of Ulverston Community Enterprises