Dance helps transition from primary to secondary school

July 27, 2010 at 3:30 pm (Learning & Access, Northern Ballet Theatre Academy) (, , )

NBT and Phoenix Dance Theatre are in Middleton this week with their summer school for young people. The course is being held at the Cockburn College of Arts and will introduce primary and secondary school students to ballet and contemporary dance. As well as honing their dance skills the project aims to ease the transition from primary to secondary school: the younger members are being introduced to their new school and the older members will mentor and help them. Dance artists from both companies are leading the project and Phoenix’s Artistic Director, Sharon Watson, will choreograph a piece which will be performed at the end of the week for the parents.

But that is not all … The group will come back together over 4 weekends in December and January to prepare for a second performance, this time at the official launch of NBT and Phoenix’s new dance centre in Leeds. This will give them the unique opportunity to perform in a professional dance space alongside professional and community groups. The project will open up additional opportunities to work with NBT and Phoenix, through theatre trips, dance projects, after school classes and future dance activities in school.

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Through the Keyhole

May 14, 2010 at 8:09 am (General Information, momentum) (, , , , , , , , )

There was buzz of excitement on Quarry Hill last week when a group of
Northern Ballet Theatre staff entered their new home for the first time.

Although not yet complete, NBT’s new home is taking shape at a terrific pace,
and staff from Wardrobe, the Academy, Communications and Fundraising were able to see where their very desks would be.

It was fascinating to see how far the building has come from the plans pinned to the wall in West Park. Have your own virtual tour with footage captured on the day.

Click here to view the video on YouTube

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Latest Images From Our New Building

January 29, 2010 at 10:30 am (Fundraising, General Information, momentum) (, , , , , , , )

Work is progressing apace on our new home in the heart of Leeds. During a site visit by members of our board, Mark Skipper and Judith Hartley we caught the progress on camera…

See more photos from the visit…

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New building for dance given green light by planners

October 10, 2008 at 2:50 pm (Company News, Fundraising, Marketing and PR News) (, , , , , , , , , )

Planners at Leeds City Council have given the green light to plans for a new centre of excellence for dance in Leeds. The new building will be home to Northern Ballet Theatre (NBT) and Phoenix Dance Theatre (Phoenix) and will be built on Quarry Hill next to the West Yorkshire Playhouse, Yorkshire Dance, the BBC and the Leeds College of Music. The designs by the Strategic Design Alliance, a partnership of Jacobs Architecture and Leeds City Council’s in-house architectural consultancy, were passed at a planning meeting earlier today.


The ambitious plans are for a six-storey building consisting of seven dance studios including a 200-seat studio theatre, office space, a health suite and a costume workshop. Alongside the two professional companies the building will eventually house a full-time classical dance school as well as Leeds Metropolitan University’s dance degree courses. The building will open in summer 2010.


In February NBT and Phoenix launched momentum, the campaign to raise the remaining £1.5million of the £12million building. To date the campaign has raised more than £800,000 from a number of trusts, foundations and individual donors. Mark Skipper, NBT’s Chief Executive is spearheading the momentum campaign:  “The planning decision means that we have reached a key milestone in this project’s progress. With building work due to start on site in four months time we are now looking for a number of businesses and individual donors to step forward and help us meet our fundraising target and achieve our ambitions.” Anyone wishing to support the momentum campaign should visit or contact Melanie Aram at NBT at


The new building has received wide support from across the region with Leeds City Council investing £6.7million, including a contribution from Yorkshire Forward, and Arts Council England, Yorkshire investing £3.5million through the National Lottery.


Andy Carver, Executive Director of Arts Council England, Yorkshire said: “It’s great news that this exciting project has reached such a significant milestone. ­Two of the country’s leading dance companies will have a state-of-the-art new home in Leeds, bringing great dance to many more people in Yorkshire and beyond.”

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Gaining momentum

September 9, 2008 at 10:38 am (Company News, Events, Fundraising) (, , , , )

Over 100 guests including the Lord Mayor of Leeds Cllr Frank Robinson enjoyed an evening with Northern Ballet Theatre at the West Yorkshire Playhouse at an event to support our momentum campaign. Our guests attended a pre-performance reception where we had the opportunity to tell them all about the project and give the first showing of our new animated film of the building.

NBT’s Artistic Director David Nixon, Chief Executive Mark Skipper and NBT Board member, Denise Jagger spoke about the importance of the new building to the Company, asking individuals and the business community to support a bright future for dance and give to the campaign

Paul Harness

Our guests then enjoyed a performance of A Tale of Two Cities, NBT’s new full-length ballet based on Dickens’ classic novel, created by guest choreographer and ex-Associate Artist of the Royal Opera House, Cathy Marston. 

During the interval NBT’s Classical Training students gave short demonstrations of their work which will be greatly enhanced by our purpose-built facilties. It is our aim to eventually run a full-time classical dance school from the new building giving talented young people from across Yorkshire the opportunity to pursue their dancing ambitions without having to leave home.

Paul Harness

“The changes and developments taking place in Leeds are breathtaking and the physical investment in the cultural life of the city, for example at the Grand Theatre and Leeds Museum, is clear to see. Our new building for dance is a part of that and as such it will be a source of pride, a symbol of a brave and confident city whose people and business leaders make great things happen and dreams come true.” Mark Skipper, NBT Chief Executive

Help us make that dream a reality, give now to momentum.


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More Momentum Launch Images

March 11, 2008 at 12:23 pm (Events, Fundraising) (, , , , , , , , )

HRH Earl of Wessex, NBT's Royal Patron. Photograph by Lisa Stonehouse

More photographs of the Momentum Launch event last month can now be found on the new Momentum website.
The events gallery can be found here:

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Momentum Launch

February 22, 2008 at 10:41 am (Company News, Events, Fundraising) (, , , , , , , )

Northern Ballet Theatre and Phoenix Dance Theatre revealed a stunning new vision for a centre of excellence for dance in Leeds last night at the launch of momentum, the campaign to raise the remaining funds required for the new buidling. HRH The Earl of Wessex attended the launch where new designs by the Strategic Design Alliance, a partnership of Jacobs and Leeds City Council’s in-house architects, were unveiled. In addition, Leeds Metropolitan University announced that it is investing in the new dance centre in an exciting partnership with NBT and Phoenix.

Read the full press release.

A new fundraising website was also launched yesterday to help raise funds for the momentum project.

Click here to visit the new site

Photographs of the launch:

Momentum Launch. Photo: Lisa Stonehouse

Momentum Launch. Photo: Lisa Stonehouse

Momentum Launch. Photo: Lisa Stonehouse

Momentum Lauch. Photo: Lisa Stonehouse

Momentum Lauch. Photo: Lisa Stonehouse

Momentum Lauch. Photo: Lisa Stonehouse

Momentum Lauch. Photo: Lisa Stonehouse

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Building Project gains ‘Momentum’

January 11, 2008 at 11:19 am (Company News, Friends News, Fundraising) (, , , , , )


NBT’s new building project gains ‘Momentum’

Good progress is being made on the development of our new home on Quarry Hill in central Leeds with Phoenix Dance Theatre. The internal layouts for the building are taking shape and our Architects, Jacobs, are currently working on the external look of the building. Early discussions with Leeds City Council Planning department have been positive and an informal presentation of the design and layout is scheduled to take place on 30 January with the Chief Planning Officer to gauge further support.

The formal OJEU Notice (basically an advertisement asking for expressions of interest to become the building Contractor) has been posted with a deadline of 13 February for expressions of interest.

At this stage we are reasonably happy that the design is within budget but our Quantity Surveyor will carry out a cost check in mid-February just to be sure.

Building work is currently scheduled to start on site in February 2009 for completion in May 2010.

The building is costing £12million and the good news is that we’ve raised £10.5million of that. We still need to raise £1.5million by the end of 2009 and to make sure we do that we are launching Momentum, our capital fundraising campaign. The fundraising launch will take place on 21 February at an event which will be attended by NBT’s Royal Patron – HRH The Earl of Wessex KG, KCVO. There will be many ways in which our supporters can contribute to the campaign including naming rights to the building, naming of the studio theatre, rehearsal studios or even seats within the theatre.

Watch this space for further updates about the new building and Momentum.

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