Aberdeen Arts Centre is an independent arts venue and registered charity in the heart of Aberdeen, Scotland — delivering a varied programme of theatre, dance, music, spoken word, comedy, film and creative learning events.
For over 60 years, we have been passionate, ever-present supporters of creativity and the performing arts in Aberdeen, and we are proud to champion an approach that emphasises openness, participation, lifelong learning and engagement with a wide range of audiences, artists and communities from across North East Scotland.
With a storied history at our back, we're equally excited about the future — and greatly look forward to welcoming new and returning audiences for more memorable moments, inspiring shows, big nights out and exciting new creative projects.
The building that is now home to Aberdeen Arts Centre was erected in 1828 as the North Parish Church in the parish of St Nicholas.
Built to accommodate over 1700 parishioners, the building was designed by John Smith — who succeeded Archibald Simpson as City Architect — and its design is similar to St Pancras Church in London. It opened on 19th June 1831 and was in use for over 120 years.
Following its closure in the 1950s, the building reopened as an Arts Centre in 1963. The £53,000 conversion installed a proscenium arch on the first floor and meeting rooms on the ground floor. It was the first venue of its kind in Scotland and, run by the City Council, it served the local community until 1998, when core funding was removed and the threat of closure loomed large.
The Aberdeen Arts Centre Association, led by Annie Inglis MBE, was established to ‘Save the Arts Centre’, and in 1999 Castlegate Arts Limited (CAL) was founded to support the building’s vital ongoing creative activity.
Now, Aberdeen Arts Centre is both an arts venue and an independent charity — and we're dedicated to delivering an accessible and varied programme, providing creative learning opportunities and supporting new artistic voices in North East Scotland.