St Mary's University has been handed the key to Twickenham's newest community building.

The new landmark facility, The Exchange, which is now under the University's management, is part of the redevelopment of the former Royal Mail building, opposite Twickenham train station, by St James.

Forming part of the new residential complex, Brewery Wharf, the new community building comprises of a theatre space for an audience of nearly 320 people seated, a further six multi-purpose studio rooms, a large conservatory area and various back of house and ancillary rooms.

Prof Francis Campbell, Vice-Chancellor of St Mary’s, said: "We are delighted to have formally taken over the management of The Exchange.

"While it is still very early in the project, we hope to put on an entertaining and thought-provoking programme of events and to offer the people of Twickenham a welcoming cultural space.

As part of the planning permission granted by Richmond Council, in 2014, to build the residential complex, the private developers agreed to include plans for the new community space.

For the past two years, the council has been working on the plans for how the new centre should be used, looking for a partner who would be able to manage the building.

St Mary’s will continue to work on their plans, over the next few months, to open The Exchange early in the Autumn, which will provide training courses for local residents and local businesses, alongside academic tuition for St Mary’s students.

The building will also have room hire for community groups, local residents and local businesses and a cafe in the Conservatory open to the public, theatre, cinema showings, comedy nights and many more festival and events.

Stuart Hobday, who formerly initiated and produced the Norwich Science Festival and was a Director the Norwich Arts Centre, has been appointed as cultural director for the Exchange.

Sean Ellis, Chairman of St James, said: "Whether through the homes we have created here, or the community building for St Mary’s, we are proud to have played our part by delivering a development that has responded directly to the wants and needs of the people of Twickenham.

“The Exchange is so much more than your average community building – this is a fantastic new facility for the local community that I hope will have a really positive impact on this part of London.”