Duchess of Cornwall opens RAD’s Battersea HQ

Published: Thursday, March 10, 2022

The new Royal Academy of Dance global headquarters in Battersea have been formally opened by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall.

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The Duchess with RAD President Dame Darcey Bussell

The leader of Wandsworth Council, Cllr Ravi Govindia, attended the event and has welcomed the building’s formal opening.  The council has worked closely with the RAD over several years to help make its purpose-built HQ a reality.

The RAD has been based in the borough since 1972 but wanted to move out of its cramped building. Wandsworth Council planners approved plans for the new building in 2015 on the site of a former Homebase warehouse store. The mixed-use development includes new homes.

Her Royal Highness said: “As the very proud Vice-Patron of the RAD, I would like to congratulate everybody who has made this wonderful new building possible. Having had a very short tour of it, seeing its complete magnificence, it’s doing so much for so many young people and old people like me.”

The new 60,000 sq. ft building will enable the Royal Academy of Dance to meet increasing demand for dance classes and workshops for people of all ages and abilities.

The Duchess was taken on a tour of the building, and saw how the space is being used to expand the Academy’s outreach and wellbeing initiatives for the local community delivered in partnership with Wandsworth Council.

She also congratulated the winner of the RAD’s art competition for Wandsworth primary schools, Richard from Alderbrook Primary School.

The RAD is part of a lively cultural and technology quarter in Battersea and Nine Elms, alongside organisations including Royal Academy of Art, Turbine Theatre and Penguin RandomHouse. Over the next year, Apple, World Heart Beat, Matt's Gallery and Chocolate Films are also getting ready to make the area their home.

Cllr Govindia said: “It is a great Wandsworth success story to have kept the Royal Academy of Dance here in Battersea so it can continue to build on its close relationship with the borough of Wandsworth. We have worked with them every step of the way to make their dream of a state-of-the-art global headquarters a reality – seeing the result today, I can say with great satisfaction that the effort has truly been worth it.

“Battersea and Nine Elms are rapidly becoming a real hub for art, culture and technology, and the RAD really adds to the richness and vibrancy of the area. I look forward to their continuing success as a world-class institution, and as part of our borough.”

The Duchess meets Richard from Alderbrook School