It’s taken a lot of change to take Lakeside from a lido to an arts centre, but what a journey it’s been!

Through generous donations, some bright ideas, and a dedication to culture and arts in Nottingham, we are now a fabulous multi-venue arts centre that welcomes hundreds of thousands of people through our doors every year.

Our history


A Lido at Lakeside

On the site where Lakeside's Djanogly Gallery is now, was once the biggest open-air swimming pool in the country, the Highfields Lido!

A black and white photo of a group of women swimming in an outdoor pool

An Arts Centre for Nottingham

Former University of Nottingham Vice-Chancellor, Sir Colin Campbell, set up the Arts Centre Appeal committee.

Sir Colin Campbell sitting in an armchair in front of a bookshelf

The Djanogly Gallery Opens

The Djanogly Gallery was opened to the public.

A black and white photo of the exterior of a gallery building with the banner

The Djanogly Recital Hall Opens

The brand new, state-of-the-art Djanogly Recital Hall and teaching spaces for the Music Department were opened.

A black and white photo of the exterior of the recital hall

From Sports Pavilion to Arts Pavilion

The DH Lawrence Pavilion was opened with a 213 seat theatre and two exhibition spaces.

A black and white photo of an interior hall with gymnasium equipment including balance beams and horses

Our First In-House Production

The first ever Lakeside in-house production, Krapp's Last Tape, was put on in the theatre.

A man sits on stage in the dark with a table and lots of tapes scattered around him

A Bigger Better Pavilion

The Performing Arts Studio, Visual Arts Studio and Artist in Residence Studios were added to the Pavilion building.

DH Lawrence Pavilion at Lakeside Arts

The First Wheee! Festival

Lakeside launched Wheee! An international children’s festival.

Families walk towards the Lakeside Building on a sunny day. There is a poster advertising the Wheee! Festival on a fence to the left]

Expansion and Growth

The University of Nottingham Museum was relocated to Lakeside, and the Djanogly Gallery was expanded.

A group of people look at Lowry Paintings in the Djanogly Gallery

Your Favourite Place

We've been open for over 30 years!

A family smile whilst watching a theatre show

Fun Facts

  • The Djanogly Recital Hall is one of the best in the UK. It has incredible acoustics which make it a favourite with the BBC for recording and broadcasting.
  • The University of Nottingham Museum has twice won Museum of the Year in the Nottinghamshire Heritage Awards.
  • You can still see part of the old Pavilion by the lake – just look for the white balconies!

With Gratitude to Our Generous Patrons

The University is extremely grateful to a number of donors who have generously supported the arts developments at Lakeside, including Sir Harry and Lady Djanogly, Thomas and Patricia Angear, Edgar and Judith Wallner, and our many wonderful Lakeside Members and other philanthropic supporters. Thank you also to Manuscripts and Special Collections for their sourcing of our historic images.

Image Credits:
1992: University of Nottingham, Manuscripts and Special Collections ACC 3070.
1994: University of Nottingham, Manuscripts and Special Collections ACC 3070.
2001: University of Nottingham, Manuscripts and Special Collections, UR 1389/31

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