On this page we would like to give you a project overview about what circus is, why we need a building and how we have developed Circus Central as a Community Project. We will also show you our location and why it is so great and some of the facts and figures supporting the case for a circus building in Newcastle as a Hub for the NE.
What is New Circus?
Our circus focuses on human skills and performance, not those of animals. It is a creative, dynamic and exciting world to be part of as a participant and as an audience member. In circus you will be amazed, thrilled and delighted – and that is just when you learn your first trick. You don’t have to be born into our circus, nor do you have to run away to it to join, if you are from the NE, because we are bringing the opportunity to you. At Circus Central we will invite you all to join the adventure, you, your child or your neighbour. You may never have dreamed that it was possible to do trapeze, walk on stilts, learn to juggle or ride a unicycle nor perhaps become an acrobat, but it is. At Circus Central we want to make these dreams possible.
Circus can be done purely for pleasure, can be started form a very young age. But besides fun participation can have significant impacts on a person’s both in terms of the individual’s well-being and physical health and for their community also. It has benefits for children, young people, families and communities. It does not discriminate on age, ethnicity, belief and what ever your ability there is an activity for you. Circus is at the same time physical and creative. You can become the physical artist, or the creative sports person and share your skills at whatever level you are at through performances.
Circus can take you around the corner and around the world. Circus Central will enable Circus artists to expand their horizons, in terms of opportunities to create new acts and shows, to develop their skills and launch their careers. For Professionals the ability to secure for themselves a home where they can train is invaluable as is their presence for the community learning form them and being inspired by them. All ages, all abilities, mucking-in at all stages will all go to making Circus Central.
Why do we need a Circus Building?
With out Circus Central, for people in the NE the closest dedicated circus venues are Sheffield and Glasgow, these are too far for most people to get to easily or regularly. While school halls or gyms are great for getting started they do not allow people to reach their potential, as they are limited by either time or facility. Circus Central has developed the Church Hall and benefits form 2 versatile spaces. The plan is to develop these and the main church into professional level circus training facilities. The working height of 10.3m the main rig will allow dynamic aerial including swinging and flying trapeze, and side rigs will give multiple points for static aerials.
Circus Central importantly will timetable space for regular training for beginner and intermediates, as well as much needed time for advanced skills development and creation, including a Youth Excellence Programme and allowing for Professional use for training and artistic development. A circus building attracts a community of teachers and performers, some resident and others visitors, who will enrich the social and youth circuses both in the building and in the region. We are seeing this happen already.
Circus Central will forge links with other Circus Schools in the UK and Internationally and act as a spring-board for young people wishing to enter the profession. Circus Central will also raise the profile of the NE as a cultural destination and bring opportunities for international cultural exchanges through the incredibly diverse network of circus in the world.
Location Location Location
Circus Central has a fantastically convenient location on fronting onto Shieldfield Green in Newcastle. It’s accessibility means that in particular young people will be able to get to the building independently. It is an easy 10 min walk to Newcastle Civic Centre. Manors Metro Station is 5 mins walk away, and this is linked to the National Rail link via Newcastle’s Central Station. Newcastle in turn is well linked to all the major towns of the NE. And the Newcastle/Gateshead combination is an attractive cultural and sporting destination. Circus Central adds to the existing vibrant mix of Dance, Music, Theatre, Museums, Stadiums, and of course there is the shopping and nightlife.
Location is important but the availability of a suitable available building is essential. Circus Central is located here because The Parish of Christ Church and Christ Church C of E Primary School have made their buildings available to the NECDT and are willing to work in close partnership to see Circus Central succeed and in order to ensure that the buildings remain available to the community. These factors, building with three spaces for circus, central location, and community in support make Circus Central perfectly situated.
In the age of the ‘Big Society’ with the notion of communities working together it is the certainly right time for Circus Central to be developed into a Circus Hub. The young people who are involved in the Five Ring Circus are really clear that their generation should be able to benefit from the opportunities which the fully developed building will provide. This is why are are pleased to have developed capacity in the Church Hall.
On the other side of the spectrum, the parishioners who are involved are elderly they would also like to witness the benefits from the development. There is also a growing expectation form the local and wider community that Circus Central will be a significant boost to Circus in the region as well as contributing to critical regenerative boost to Shieldfield. Even with the existing economic climate the time is right for Circus Central. This is why the city council and ward have supported this project.