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The Institute is overseen by the charitable organisation known as The Bocking Arts Theatre Trust. Our mission is to safeguard and uphold the splendor of this remarkable and iconic building, a crucial monument in Braintree that holds significant cultural and historical importance for the community.

The Trust

The Bocking Arts Theatre Trust

Charity number: 1143115

The Institute Restoration Project

Our objective is to create an arts and community space in the heart of Braintree that is accessible for all and something that the community can be proud of.

In order to do this we are striving hard to bring the venue up to industry standards, opening accessible creative spaces and curating comprehensive theatre and music program that meets the expectations of both performers and audiences alike.


In bringing regular high calibre Music and theatre events from across the UK we aim to invigorate the local arts scene and provide residents with memorable cultural experiences. for years to come.

The Journey So far

The Main Hall

The theatre auditorium was our first priority for renovation. The hardwood floor was  meticulously restored to its former glory, the walls were freshly painted purple and the arches painted gold to add a touch of elegance.

Stage 2


The stage was sanded and painted and additionally, a state-of-the-art sound system and lighting were installed, enhancing the auditory and visual experience for all patrons.

Stage 1

With so much work to be done it was hard to know where to start but the potential was clear to see.

The Stage Door - Bar

Every theatre needs a theatre bar for pre show A well-designed theatre bar is not just a place to grab a drink before the show or during intermission; it's an integral part of the overall theatre experience but sadly The Institute bar was some what lacking and was a regular cause for complaint by our patrons.
Now we can proudly say we have a charming wood panelled theatre bar adorned with a piano, eclectic furniture and whimsical ornaments, creating an atmosphere that's both inviting and theatrical.


Stage 3

Entrance Hallway
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A theatre's entrance hallway serves as the gateway to the magical world of performance art, setting the stage for the audience's entire experience. A visually appealing and inviting entrance hallway creates a positive first impression, as well as highlighting what shows are on offer.

It sets the tone for the evening, hinting at the grandeur and elegance that awaits within the theatre's walls.


What is next?

Our restored theatre will actively support dance schools in the area, including Starstruck, Taylor's Dance School and The Chelmsford Drama Centre by providing them with a venue to showcase their talent and nurture their students' artistic growth. We believe that fostering collaboration and opportunities for local dance schools will contribute to the overall vibrancy and success of the arts community in Braintree.
And next on the agenda for our renovation project is to redecorate and reopen the upstairs studios, which had previously been used for storage space. 

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Dressing room

A massive thank you to AA Woods for their wonderful work  painting our previously pink dressing room. 
The Institute would be nowhere without the support of local businesses and we are so grateful for the help and generosity!

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The Trustees

Jeremy Boyden


John Wilkinson


Neil Foster


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