The Nuneaton Arts Council was founded in 1969 by a group of local arts devotees who noted the continuing demise of other venues in Nuneaton.
They saw the need to provide a focal point for all aspects of arts, and so the Abbey Theatre was converted from what was until then a Territorial Army drill hall.
A quote given at the time rings as true now as it certainly did then – “A man who works with his hands is called a labourer. One who works with his hands and his head is called a craftsman, but the man who works with his hands, his head and his heart has the right to be called an artist”.
Those artists who set in motion the foundation of the present Abbey Theatre truly deserve the thanks of the local people for creating opportunities for organisations large and small to show their talent, entertaining and educating the public at large.
Over the years, as with many organisations, there have been ups and downs and on at least two occasions there was a possibility of closure.
However, those challenges were met, and today the Abbey is a thriving venue with over 35,000 people passing through its doors in 2016 to attend 160 performances.
Bookings for the main auditorium need to be made nearly two years in advance. Most recently the Nuneaton Arts Council has restructured as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation – and as such is now know as the Nuneaton Arts CIO. This new CIO has now taken over all aspects of the previous Charity Nuneaton Arts Council.