New Beginnings

“We are indebted to the extraordinary generosity of our audiences and benefactors without whom we simply would not be in a position to be able to achieve this dream."

At the start of our 10th Anniversary Year, January 2016, we launched our first fundraising campaign to kick-start our capital project to establish a long-term home for GSC, and we are delighted to report that so far you have helped us raise over £50,000... and our long-term home has been found!

Our 10th Anniversary Gala 6 Dec 2016


THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In January 2020 we'll be fulfilling a long-held ambition to be moving into a new long-term home. Following a three-year campaign to find a suitable venue we are pleased to announce we'll be moving in to two buildings on the fringes of Stoke Park in Guildford.

As you know from the updates below,  in May 2016 the help of Guildford Borough Council (GBC), we moved into temporary accommodation at Midleton Road. Earlier this summer we were served notice that the building is due to be demolished in February 2020, and the search to find a long-term solution intensified.

The solution has come in the form a 10-year lease of The GreenArk on Lido Road and the former Astolat Bowls Pavilion, a hundred metres away!



At the end of October, we submitted a proposal to Guildford Borough Council for the use of Burchatts Farm Barn at the East End of Stoke Park. Read the proposal here

This fabulous heritage property would be used as the operational headquarters for GSC, including our rehearsal and education rooms, storage (props, costume, technical equipment), and administrative offices.

The space will also enable us to continue supporting other professional theatre companies who are in their infancy, and artists needing space to try new work. Other community initiatives such as poetry nights, reading groups and an exhibition space are just some of the other potential ideas we have to make the most of the venue.

Additionally, Burchatts Farm Barn also has the potential to house the long-term goal of GSC’s own Spiegeltent, which would truly see GSC’s dream come to fruition. However, one step at a time!


We have been humbled and inspired by the support of our audiences, and we would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who has donated so far, whether it is from bucket collections, adding a few pounds to your ticket booking, buying a mug or by donating to our Benefactors scheme.

This first fundraising initiative has demonstrated the huge support GSC has for its Vision, which is a vital first step, empowering our communications with local authorities, funding bodies and other potential investors.

GSC Friends with Matt at the end of the Bard Walk (2016)

With these funds we have been able to commission a reputable firm of local architects – Lytle Associates - to begin feasibility studies, and have had consultations with a theatre fundraising specialist – Achates Philanthropy - to advise on the complexities of the long-term funding options for the project. Neither of which we could have achieved without your help.

As you know, following our wonderful experience with the Spiegeltent, the concept for our home was to commission and build our own permanent Spiegeltent which would serve as a rehearsal and classes space as well as a performance venue, with an eco-friendly ancillary building for the day-to-day running of GSC.

Feasibility studies have identified issues with building regulations and the installation of a permanent Spiegelent, so we are talking to building experts to explore other ways of making this dream come true.

Working with Lytle Associates we have identified the ideal size of the home we are looking for. A space of approx. 4000sq ft would provide us with enough room to house the essential facilities for the day-to-day running of the company: a rehearsal room, education suite, workshops, stores, offices and welfare amenities. This size also provides space for future growth.

At GSC we love the variety of spaces that we use and because of our site-responsive approach we do not necessarily need our own public theatre, rather a long-term home; a theatre factory - a creative hub in which to make the unique, inventive, vibrant theatre and education projects that our audiences and schools love.



We are keen to hear from anyone who is experienced with property, capital fundraising or development, who would like to donate their time and talent to join our Board of Trustees. Please email us if you can help.


Do you know of any land within 2 miles of Guildford centre that we could use?

We want to hear from anyone who owns/knows of/can put us into contact with land that would benefit from becoming the home of GSC. If you do, please email Matt


Are you, or do you know of, a funding body or philanthropic investor? In order to help fund the creation of this facility we are looking for individuals and groups who believe in the cultural well-being of Guildford and its regions as much as we do. Our home will benefit Guildford, its residents and visitors through arts engagement and education, and if you are someone who can support such an enterprise we would love to hear from you. Email Sarah


Our audiences have been incredibly supportive of our Vision and the funds raised in 2016 will be key in helping us begin this huge project. View the current Benefactors List (Sept 2017) (pdf)

You can continue to donate to New Beginnings when buying your show tickets, setting up a standing order or donating through our GSC Benefactors scheme...but who will you be?

  • Prospero £1000
  • Cleopatra £500
  • Hamlet £250
  • Titania £100
  • Bottom £50
  • Juliet £25
  • Falstaff £10

To pledge your support you can send a cheque, made payable to Guildford Shakespeare Company Trust Ltd, to  GSC, Building 1, 14-15 Midleton Road, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 8XW; or Request a STANDING ORDER form


Help us raise funds just by shopping online. Shop with your favourite stores through GIVE AS YOU LIVE and they'll donate to GSC - all without charging you a penny more!

We receive no annual government subsidy. Your support is vital to enable GSC to grow and flourish. Thank you


In August 2016, our Co-Founder Matt Pinches, realised a long-held ambition to walk The Shakespeare Way from Stratford-upon-Avon to Shakespeare’s Globe.

Matt completed it in just 9 days and raised an amazing £16,000 for the New Beginnings Campaign.

He has subsequently made a 50-minute documentary film which we hope to have available to buy on DVD very soon. Email us for details

You can also read the Bard Walk Diary on the Bard Walk Blog.




What would our home look like? 

  • Ideally a minimum 4000sqf in size
  • Fully equipped rehearsal space providing essential privacy for artists to explore and invent.
  • An incubation space for new projects such as our growing in-house writing, R&D work, as well as a space for other artists to develop their work
  • Dedicated space for more classes and developing young people's skills in multiple theatre disciplines, thus helping them prepare for their future
  • A workshop to make and maintain props, set and costumes
  • Storage space for wardrobe, props, LX and FOH, as well as for fittings.
  • Production office for stage management team
  • Private meeting room, office & break out space for core team
  • Showers and dressing rooms for artists

Did you know? 

  • GSC is the only year-round producing theatre company within a 20 mile radius of Guildford, the nearest being The Rose at Kingston
  • In 2015/16 our Education Department engaged over 4660 people young and old in workshops and classes
  • 119 jobs created for professional artists in 2017
  • 92 workshops in 34 schools across the South East in 2017

Charity of the Year Award at the Eagle Radio Biz Awards 2017

The New Beginnings Campaign will raise money to fund the procurement of our future home and associated charitable activities which help achieve this aim.

Guildford Shakespeare Company Trust Ltd is a registered charity no. 1139526