Conceived by the Friends as an open-air classroom to accommodate visiting school children, this facility gradually evolved into a multi-purpose amphitheatre as potential user requirements were better understood. The structure can operate in three modes:

  • Audience seated on the tiered platforms with ‘performance’ on the stage area.

  • Audience on chairs beyond the tiered platforms with ‘performance’ on the stage and or tiered platforms

  • Audience on the ground or chairs in the meadow area on the Large Pond side of the auditorium with the ‘performance’ on the stage and/or tiered platforms.

The latter mode was used for the inaugural concert.

Groundworks Greater Nottingham designed the auditorium to meet the FoCW requirements. Disabled audience access is incorporated and support provision was made for scenery, banners, lighting and speakers. Tier heights vary to cater for different age children and adult audiences. The specification delivered a robust and flexible structure suitable for accommodating some of the ongoing ground settlement without excessive maintenance. Location of the structure was agreed with the Friends after a careful review of alternative sites.

Construction was in two phases. County Councillor David Taylor successfully proposed the scheme for a grant from Nottinghamshire County Councils ‘Building Better Communities’ 2005/06 scheme. This grant permitted the construction of the stage and enabling works in spring 2006. The second phase consisting of the tiered seating, ramp access and making good of the adjacent meadow was proposed as part of the Borough’s successful application to WREN for the ‘Eastwood Partnership Project’. This work was completed by June 2007.

County Councillor David Taylor cuts the ribbon at the opening ceremony

This facility is available for use by any community group, youth organisation, company or family gathering. It accommodates activities ranging from intimate discussion through to large scale musical events. There is no charge for using the facility. We ask only that your activity does not damage the structure and that all waste is properly disposed off. The FoCW request that potential users notify them of their intent to ensure that use does not clash with any other programmed site activity.

The Phoenix Marching Band using the auditorium for practice

Greenwood using the auditorium for a presentation

Nottingham’s male barbershop choir, the Major Oak Chorus, Singing at a picnic concert.

Families enjoy an interactive presentation of environmental issues from the ‘Magician’ supported by his ‘Pixie’