The Chichester City Arts Centre

The Chichester City Arts Centre is a new arts and community hire venue close to the city centre.  Set in the former church of St Bartholomew’s, a 200 year old late Georgian grade II listed building, the Centre has a Main Hall, a Reception area in the old Vestry, a disabled toilet, a small kitchen and a shower/toilet. Upstairs there is a small gallery complete with the original church organ.

The Centre is also the home of the Rosemary Bell Academy of Dance, a Royal Academy of Dance registered ballet school.

Outside, there is disabled parking, a grassy area in the old graveyard and an enclosed rear area also part of the graveyard. There have been no burials since 1860 and all headstones have been placed against boundary walls.

The Centre is ideal for events and meetings of all kinds.  To date, it has hosted a number of private birthday parties, children's parties, Chichester Fringe events, a Baroque music concert, Yoga classes, music video film production, student film projects and a Coronation Party!  If you need a space for a celebration, a reception or just somewhere to do your thing, the Chichester City Arts Centre is for you.

Basic Information

The Main Hall is approx. 42' x 28' (13m x 8.5m).  It is accessed for regular bookings via the original oak Reception door to the LHS of the building. This is a pleasant waiting area with casual seating, an original fireplace and the Reception counter where light refreshments may be served. The Main Hall is through a further original oak door. There is a private office/store at the east end of the Hall and a balcony at the west end housing the original church organ.

For special events, guests can enter through the Main Doors at the west end of the building through the tiled entrance lobby past the kitchen and disabled facilities and enter the Main Hall through a further set of double doors.  

The church was built in 1832 and extended in 1930 by the distinguished graphic artist, MacDonald Gill, who painted the unique barrelled ceiling above the Office.

The building has been extensively refurbished in 2022 to provide modern disabled and fire safety facilities with disabled parking at the front of the building off Mount Lane.  The improvements and upkeep are an on-going project funded from our hire revenues.

The Centre is owned and operated by a Limited Liability Partnership whose members are Miss Rosemary Bell, Principal of the Rosemary Bell Academy of Dance and Mr & Mrs IT & JM Jackson.

Overall Capacity

The overall capacity of the Main Hall is 120 people.

Suitable For

This venue is suitable for the following occasions:

  • Party
  • Reunion
  • Anniversary
  • Training
  • Children's Party
  • Local Community Meeting
  • Societies and Clubs
  • Music Event
  • Theatre Production
  • Band Practise
  • Baby Groups
  • Fitness Classes / Yoga
  • Educational Pursuits
  • Church Event / Choir Practice
  • School Events
  • Dance Classes
  • Film Shoots
  • Corporate Events

Availability: Most mornings during the week, all day weekends up to 2200.  We are currently waiting on a decision by the Chichester City Council to extend our operating hours to 2330 at weekends and 2300 during the week.  Watch this space. 

Hire Costs:  Our hire charge is normally £20 per hour in 2024.  In addition, all bookings attract a refundable cleaning deposit.  This is £30 for bookings of half a day (5 hours or less) and £100 for full days (5 hours or more).  
The hourly rate in future years may be subject to change without notice.  
Bookings involving large numbers of people at the venue will be quoted on request.  See our Pricing Policy at the Documentation tab for full details.


Photos of our Facilities

The Pipe Organ in the Gallery

Main Hall - Capacity 120

The Kitchen

A Party in the Garden

The Formal Entrance

The Entrance Lobby

The Famous Painted Barrelled Ceiling

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