Wondering what happens inside The Old Courts on a daily basis?
Watch our video.
For those who don’t know us, we are a not for profit arts centre who promote the best in arts and culture in the Wigan Borough. With two music venues, a theatre, an art gallery, Victorian Court Room, arts space, rehearsal rooms, performance space and flexible space we cater for everyone’s needs.
What We Do
We host a variety of events within our many walls as well as private parties and weddings. Events range from intimate music gigs and festivals to theatre and dance shows to workshops and weekly classes to art socials and exhibitions.
Not many people are aware that we are a community interest company and that 100% of our profits go back in to the project, the arts, the community and the up keep and improvement of the facilities. Profits support arts and well-being activities including: drama classes, School of Rock, Over 50s Jamming Sessions, music therapy, crochet and felt workshops as well as supporting creative business and individuals who want training and work experience and developing arts and culture across the borough.
We believe we can make a big difference to Wigan and the local arts scene. We really want to engage with like-minded people who want to get involved in The Old Courts so if you have an idea or thoughts on our facilities and activities please get in touch.
Since we opened our doors to the public in October 2014 we’ve grown and flourished and are now attracting worldwide performers and artists as well as collaborating with renowned institutions such as Battersea Arts Centre and Central St Martins. To list these centres of artistic excellence as partners really is a milestone in our progress to date, long may it continue!
If you’ve never been to The Old Courts, we would love to meet you, we’re a friendly bunch and so are our customers. In fact, one thing which we are particularly proud of is the diversity of our guests – we’ve had babies to 96 year olds from all different backgrounds attend events here so one thing we are sure of is that you will fit in here and have a good time.
Support arts and culture in Wigan!
Did you know? As well as being a Community Interest Company we are also Limited by Guarantee which means no shareholders and that all of the profits made go straight back in to help support the cultural, educational and heritage side of our project.
If you are interested in supporting our work, we would love to hear from you.
Donating to The Old Courts directly supports our mission to enrich lives with the arts and culture as well as securing the future of the much-loved, historical building we are based in. Just a small donation can have massive benefits.
We go out and about in Wigan visiting local businesses to hand out What's On guides and posters. Find out more about how you can get involved and have a look at some of the businesses we already work with.
We always welcome donations of music and arts equipment, furniture, fittings and furnishings and building materials. We’re permanently improving our facilities and are always on the lookout for various items. If you think you may be able to help please get in touch by emailing us.
We are always looking for volunteers to get involved. Sign up here.
We are commissioned to run local and national projects on behalf of Public Sector organisations and Funders, please have a look at our current projects.
Deal for Communities
Wigan Council - Investment Fund
Our local authority is backing us to help develop a strong, sustainable and diverse Cultural offering in Wigan Borough.
Collaborative Touring Network
Battersea Arts Centre - London
The collaborative touring network run in collaboration with Battersea Art Centre is an 8 centre touring network bringing high quality touring theatre to Wigan.
A development from the Collaborative Touring Network, Collaborative Co-Creators is a three-year programme working with local producers in five National locations; The Old Courts in Wigan, Jumped Up Theatre in Peterborough, and Lyrici Arts in Medway to deliver co-created projects, to generate positive social change in underserved communities. The project aims to push beyond the narrow model of participation that asks people to “come and join in,” and instead champions a model of co-creation, which invites people to “come and create”. The project champions this type of co-created work and seeks to develop best practice for touring this type of work.
Project Catalyst is three-year focus on building the infrastructure of a community hub campus for creative industry based at Old Courts. Project Catalyst widens participation in the arts for all sections of the community through accessible projects and uses the learning already acquired through the existing Old Courts offer to build a new and stronger platform from which to engage people in a way that mainstream support services cannot do. With the Deal for Communities Investment Fund, The Old Courts has been supported to widen participation, volunteering, work placements and potential employment or business start-up for the most vulnerable people in the community.
Dementia Friendly Projects
Art & Drawing club
It is important that our residents living with Dementia have access to everyday facilities in a way that best suits their needs and we believe our Drawing and Art Class can offer a great and enjoyable way to spend the afternoon.
Taking place in the intimate Cinema/Theatre venue here at The Old Courts, our programme of six films will be shown within a welcoming, safe and enjoyable environment. A dementia friendly space has been created by tweaking things such as signage, lighting and uniforms as well as specialist training for our staff.
Casino Improv is the in-house improvisational theatre company here at The Old Courts. Since 2017, we have been supporting them as they build their brand and perfect their energetic, anarchic style of theatre. Casino host The Something New Show, an eclectic night of poetry and comedy, as well as Bailaugh, a totally improvisation driven show which features regular guest improvisation groups.
Paul Scott Bullen
Paul Scott Bullen is an artist who is living, breathing and moving in the backwaters of his mind. Paul’s performance, Mastication, aims to capture that personal stress, that trauma, that suffering that is so hard to articulate. This is an exploration of the loss of a brother and a mother.
In 2003 Mick Martin launched his smash hit stage play, Once Upon A Time in Wigan, celebrating the world-famous northern soul nights of the 70’s. Labelled a modern classic by the media - ‘George Orwell meets Nick Hornby with a plus!’ said The Observer.
Mick’s brand-new play, for which he has interviewed soulies across Wigan, returns to the original family on his search for the new Soul of Wigan. Eugene spins, slides and glides into the 21st century, never believing he could be an ordinary Joe. Or at least that’s what he thinks. To his kids, Liam and Siobhan, dad dancing is dad dancing no matter how much talc you throw at it!
The Soul of Wigan explores the contemporary scene and, the town and the times we live in to ask – what does our northern soul mean now?
We have lots of different opportunities for you to get involved at The Old Courts. Find out here
The Old Courts is housed in Gerrard Winstanley House, the former County Court Buildings in Wigan Town Centre which now houses a fit-for-purpose music venue, a theatre, an art gallery, bars, a plant based restaurant, event spaces, rehearsal spaces and artists’ studios!
Take a look at our gallery for a peek inside…
Check out our YouTube channel here!
Retaining its original features, character and charm the Victorian Court Room is a great setting for that special occasion, conferences or public events.
Victorian Court Room
This 275 capacity standing venue is fully equipped with a stage, PA system, fully stocked bar and private outdoor terrace.
The Grand Vault
The Isherwood is a light and airy gallery/exhibition space with an accompanying bar.
Fresh coffee, cocktails, craft beer and an extensive selection of spirits. Free WiFi, charging points and free live entertainment most Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
187 seat Theatre with tiered seating and Gallery and large performance space. 10m x 5.5m Sprung Floor Stage with Le Mark Professional Dance Floor. Fitted with PA and full lighting rig and 6m x 4.5m 4K Cinema Projector with 3D.
Home of previously enjoyed records. Come along and see our fine collection of Bonnie Tyler items! Plus plenty of PROG, PUNK, ROCK, GOTH, 50S, 60S, 70S 80S
APEX MEETING ROOM
Based on the top floor, this versatile space is ideal for meetings, rehearsal space and fitness classes.
These basic rooms vary in sizes and are available on a monthly rented basis.
We have a selection of private monthly rental rooms as well as fully equipped pay by the hour rooms available.
The Old Courts could not exist without the constant support of our dedicated patrons.
Thank you to all of you who come to our events, to all of you who are brave enough to try new things under our roof, to all of you who tell your friends about us, to all of you who donate, to all of you who tell us when we are wrong so that we can improve, to all of you who hold your special occasions with us, to all of you who have supported us in our journey so far. We could not do this without all of you.
We would also like to thank all of the businesses and funders who have helped us along the way. Your support is always appreciated and never forgotten.