The Tobacco Factory during cleaning work which saw a Union Jack flag covering scaffolding
|Town or city||Bristol|
|Client||W. D. & H. O. Wills|
|Structural system||Brick and Iron|
The Tobacco Factory is the last remaining part of the old Wills Tobacco site on Raleigh Road, Southville, Bristol. It was saved from demolition by the architect and current mayor of the city George Ferguson and through his vision has become a model of urban regeneration. It is now a multi-use building which houses Teoh's restaurant, animation and performing arts school, loft-style apartments, a café bar, offices and a theatre.
Inspired by the Manchester Independents campaign, George Ferguson decided to launch a Bristol based campaign from the Tobacco Factory, the purpose is to encourage the support and patronage of independent outlets and businesses to help redress the balance that has swung strongly in favour of the multiples at the expense of local character and enterprise. Business at the Tobacco Factory epitomises this, with home grown enterprises, such as Fanatic Design, CLIK, and Teoh's.
The motto worn on the shirts of the bar staff is "Strike a light for Independents!"
Tobacco Factory Theatre
Since the creation of the theatre space on the first floor in 1998, companies including Show of Strength Theatre Company, Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory, the Royal National Theatre and The Ministry of Entertainment have performed there as well as regular in house productions. The theatre is now recognised by Bristol City Council as a key arts provider. The theatre gained funding from the Arts Council of England for the first time in 2007. The current director of the theatre is Ali Robertson.
The Café Bar
The Tobacco Factory Café Bar opened in November 2001, serving Mediterranean style food in a post-industrial setting. Regular music nights complement the theatre upstairs.
- "Tobacco Factory building, about us". www.tobaccofactory.com. Retrieved 2009-03-21.
- "Tobacco Factory Theatre". www.uk.stagejobspro.com. Retrieved 2009-03-21.
- "Tobacco Factory Theatre". theatrebristol.net. Retrieved 2009-03-21.
- Baluch, Lalayn (3 July 2007). "Cash boost for Bristol's Tobacco Factory". The Stage. Retrieved 2009-03-21.
- "Our Staff". tobaccofactorytheatre.com. Retrieved 2010-12-29.
- "The Tobacco Factory". www.eatout.co.uk. Retrieved 2009-03-21.
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