The early years

Premises started it's life in 1977. A group of like-minded folk got together, and with the assistance of Norwich City Council, got permission to use a disused carpet warehouse in St. Benedicts Street in Norwich as a venue for Performing and Visual Arts. In time the organisation split in two, One half moved to St Swithins Church a few doors along, owned by Norwich Historic Churches Trust, The other half became Cinema City at the other end of St Andrew's Street.

The new venue

Changes took place at the new venue, and by the mid 1980's the original name of Premises was dropped and the new tag of Norwich Arts Centre or NAC was adopted, with branding and a different organisation in place to control the larger multiple spaces available. Money to support the scheme as obtained from both Norwich City Council and Eastern Arts.

The mid eighties also saw the advent of the Community Arts Team, which ran regular gigs, community theatre and film-making.

The venue began to promote a more diverse selection of events, with individual promoters perhaps injecting the real interest, such as the Weh Aye Cocker Club in the eighties, The Wilde Club and Wombat Wombat in the nineties ad into the 21st century. Often these small club nights introduced bands who otherwise would not have had the opportunity to play in a city the size of Norwich, and also promoting local talent alongside them, giving a much needed small venue to the city. Alongside the Arty types the bar also became a hub for local bands in and around the venue nights, and probably helped to supplement some of the more strange fringe shows that the NAC put on.


Norwich Arts Centre was redeveloped with the aid of a capital grant from the National Lottery in 1999. The improvements included a new on-street entrance, a multi-media department and improved access and facilities for disabled people and performers. It still retains much of the intimacy and character of it's previous incarnation. In 2007 the venue celebrated 30 years of promoting the arts.