About the venue
Situated in a prestigious Grade II listed building in the historic market place, Corn Exchange Newbury opened for trade in 1861 but was soon being used as a community venue. In the 20th century as corn trading declined, the venue was used for public meetings, dances, discos, amateur dramatics and even as a roller skating rink.
The Corn Exchange was often utilised by the townspeople for the celebration of royal occasions. Even when it was less than a year old on 10 March 1863, a promenade concert was held in the Corn Exchange which brought to an end a day of celebrations of Queen Victoria. Throughout its life the Corn Exchange has been a major public building in Newbury. Its original prime purpose concerned with the economy of the agricultural industry of the area has now been totally superseded by its secondary function as a venue for major public events in the town. Its architectural merits are as much appreciated now as when it was erected, as is its importance to the townscape of the historic core of Newbury. This is reflected in it being listed as a building of Architectural or Historic Interest (Grade II) by the Department of the Environment and inclusion within the Newbury Conservation area.
Closed for four years, the Corn Exchange reopened in September 1993 after a £3.5 million refurbishment programme as a professional 400-seat theatre. On 1 June 2000 the operation of the Corn Exchange passed from West Berkshire Council to Corn Exchange (Newbury) Trust, an independent charity. In 2001 Corn Exchange took up the management of New Greenham Arts. Today the Corn Exchange receives more than 100,000 visitors a year from across West Berkshire, South Oxfordshire, Hampshire, Wiltshire and beyond.