Thank you Ipswich, you are amazing!

Between us, in just 4 weeks, we raised 19,365 votes on the Aviva Community Fund and now we're in the finals!

After two years hard work, we're hoping that the fantastic response from the people of Ipswich clearly demonstrates the need for an Arts Centre that will contribute to the cultural regeneration of the town.

Where do we go from here?

The winners of the Aviva Community Fund competition are announced on Tuesday 10th January. If we win, it will mean that we'll have the £25,000 that will pay for Phase 1 and allow us to open as a venue. Phase 1 includes things such as a new floor, wheelchair access, and portable toilets.

What do we need right now?

Acoustic Survey

Although we've successfully got planning permission for all phases of the Arts Centre there are a number of caveats, for example we need an acoustic engineer to survey the church. This means that we will be able to comply with noise regulations.

Fund raising events

Thank you to all the local artists that have offered to perform at proposed gigs to help raise funds for the Arts Centre, we're always on the look out for more local talent who would like to help out.
Please email us or message us on our facebook page.


We have an army of enthusiastic individual volunteers with a diverse range of practical and creative skills, but we're always on the look out for more. Please contact us via our social media pages if you'd like to get involved.

• Engaging with people of all ages, ethnicities and abilities, enabling them to participate in all aspects of the Arts in a wholly supportive environment.

• Working in partnership with schools, colleges and the university to develop internships, work experience and training opportunities for young people, including disadvantaged groups and young people leaving care.

• Providing a creative hub for community groups, with affordable space for rehearsals and events.

• Providing practical training for Events Management students.

• Offering a mid-sized venue to attract acts, including music and comedy, as well as theatre groups, which do not currently come to Ipswich.

Empty for over 30 years, St. Clements is the last of Ipswich’s redundant medieval churches to seek a new lease of life. Known as the Sailor’s Church, because of its proximity to the former harbour, it has connections with Nelson through the designer of HMS Victory, who is buried there.

We are a Community Interest Company, led by a University of Suffolk Professor, aiming to convert St. Clement’s into a vibrant Arts & Community Centre, to enrich people’s lives, matching the region’s other successful venues – also in converted churches – in Colchester and Norwich, by:

Creating a modern, cutting-edge, 21st century performance space for the benefit of the people and community in the heart of Ipswich.

Love ipswich arts centre.

Add your name to our growing list of supporters and show your love for Ipswich Arts Centre.



Submitting Form...

The server encountered an error.

Form received.





Adding your name to our list of supporters is really important to us. The greater number of supporters we have helps us make the case for funding and support from charitable bodies and helps guarantee the kind of acts that we'd like to see.
Also, we occasionally send out emails letting you know what's happening at the Arts Centre. Your information is held in the strictest confidence and we don't share your information with anyone else.

St. Clement Church is one of three medieval flint churches close to the Ipswich Waterfront development, and the last to find a long term re-use. Of the three churches it undoubtedly has the finest setting with a generous graveyard and a number of mature trees.

The church is largely 15th century and has an exterior of flint with stone quoins. It has a grand tower, perpendicular windows, a clerestory and an 1860’s chancel. The church was dedicated to the patron saint of sailormen and has from the beginning had strong connections with the seafaring community. The anchor emblem of the saint can be seen carved in stone details around the church.

St. Clement was deconsecrated in the 1970’s and used briefly as storage of the Wolsey Theatre Group.

Following a fire in the 1980’s the church underwent significant restoration works.
In 2014 University Campus Suffolk  were invited by Ipswich Borough Council and Ipswich Historic Churches Trust to established a steering group to consider how the church might be brought back into the cultural and social life of the community it was build to serve, and the idea of an Ipswich Arts Centre was born.

art centre means business


We believe that art, business, culture and people are indivisable, and that by supporting and building a strong cultural base in the heart of Ipswich it will benefit the community and the businesses that surround it.

We believe that companies that become supporters will be connected to a more diverse audience and will be contributing positively to the environment of the town.

Sponsorship is £100 for 2017 and your support can make a real local difference. In return, we’ll promote your business on our website, list your company as a supporter visibly in the Arts Centre, add your logo to our mailing list which has a current reach of 4000 and send out a press release that your company is on board.

If you’d like to become a sponsor, please email  ipswichartscentre@gmail.com

Ipswich Arts Centre would like to say thank you to the following for their continuing help and support:


Sam Abelman of Open Heritage

Robin Bater, Building Control Officer at Ipswich Borough Council

Mark Aaron

John Blatchly of Ipswich Historic Churches Trust

Gail Broom, Conservation Officer at Ipswich Borough Council

Bawden Burrows of MLM

Conatus Associates

Stuart Coy of Playle and Partners

Judy Dow of ProHelp Suffolk


Daniel Fisher Architectural Visualisation

James Hall of Ipswich Historic Churches Trust

Jim Horsefield of As Described

Ipswich Historic Churches Trust

Ben Payne at Illuminate Design

Neil Salter

Paul Cotterell at PodPea Ltd

Suffolk New College

Victoria Spelman of Gotelee Solicitors

Cad Taylor of Ipswich Community Media

Mike Taylor Conservation and Urban Design Officer at Ipswich Borough Council

Richard Vivian of Big Sky Acoustics


Community Interest Company Registered Number 017835.