About us

Axis Arts Centre is based in the Contemporary Arts building on the MMU Cheshire campus in Crewe, although we programme and curate work in other contexts and locations in the region. Our Cutting Hedge programme is a good example of this.

In addition to its regional activities, Axis currently programmes three main strands of activity – The Performance Programme, The OpenSpace exhibition programme (incorporating Curating Knowledge), and the CreativeWritingPlus programme of visiting writers.

Our mission: to programme and produce work that reflects, investigates and contributes to diverse practices of Contemporary Arts; regionally, nationally and internationally

We fulfil our mission through striving for the following aims:

  • Create a distinctive Arts offer for public audiences that surprises, challenges and is diverse
  • Develop the public’s experience, knowledge and interest in Contemporary Arts
  • Support young and emerging talent
  • Publicly profile and support Contemporary Arts research and current debates

In the past five years, Axis Arts Centre has configured its location, name and model, yet our aim to programme and produce work that reflects, investigates and contributes to Contemporary Arts practice remains as strong as ever

The centre is regularly funded by Arts Council England and Manchester Metropolitan University.


Axis Arts Centre, previously known as The Alsager Arts Centre, developed as a public facility out of the ‘Cultural Policy’ of the old Crewe and Alsager College of Higher Education, in the early eighties. Over the years it has presented some of the biggest names in contemporary performance of all kinds, from Forced Entertainment to Benjamin Zephaniah, Yolande Snaith to Goat Island, Scanner to Frantic Assembly, Bobby Baker to Odin Teatret.

And why Axis…?

The main hall on the Alsager Campus was opened in 1969 and shortly after given the name Axis Theatre, as the first public performance was configured across the ‘short axis’, ie sideways in the big rectangular space. But, aside from carrying forward the history of the old theatre, we also like the idea that our programme is the line we choose to draw through the range of artistic practices and disciplines that are increasingly swirling around in the contemporary air…