Royal visit for Battersea

Published: Friday 2nd February 18

HRH The Duchess of Cornwall has paid a visit the headquarters of the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) in Battersea.

Her Royal Highness and Angela Rippon with the Silver Swans

The Duchess observed several classes including a Silver Swans session, a ballet class specially designed for learners aged 55 and over. The RAD’s Ambassador for Silver Swans Angela Rippon CBE also attended the class and discussed the initiative and the many benefits of ballet for older learners.

Chief Executive Luke Rittner CBE said: “It was a privilege and a delight for us to welcome HRH The Duchess of Cornwall to our headquarters in Battersea today. We hope that The Duchess enjoyed her visit to the Academy, and particularly the opportunity to see some of the ways in which we promote dance and dancing to students of all ages, and in 84 countries around the globe.”

The Royal Academy of Dance has been based in Battersea Square since 1972, and is currently preparing to move to a new, purpose built headquarters less than a mile from its current location in 2020, the organisations’ centenary year.

The RAD's new home

The Battersea Square premises will be converted into 34 flats and 5 modern town houses. The new premises, on the former Homebase site, features eight studios, a flexible performance space, improved accessibility,changing rooms and office space, a larger retail space, two cafés and the opportunity to display the academy’s extensive archives in a new library.

The council is working with the RAD to help create opportunities for the local community to hire space, watch or participate in dance activities and performances at the new building.

The RAD’s investment in the borough is just one of a string of high-profile creative, digital and tech giants coming to London’s newest business quarter, including Apple which is leasing half-a-million square feet at Battersea Power Station and publisher Penguin Randomhouse which is moving its London base to Embassy Gardens.

The new American Embassy has opened in Nine Elms and the Royal College of Art has received planning permission for a state-of-the-art building for postgraduate students and entrepreneurs in North Battersea.

The area’s arts scene is also flourishing with new public art, a major new art gallery and new venues, including the Village Hall at Battersea Power Station created in partnership with Battersea Arts Centre. The Hayward Gallery has announced that London’s largest free contemporary arts festival Art Night has chosen Nine Elms, Battersea and Vauxhall for its first foray into south London.

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