As Colston Hall celebrates its 150th anniversary, new artist impressions and plans for redevelopment are on show
It was announced on Wednesday 8th February Bristol Music Trust, the organisation that runs Colston Hall, and Bristol City Council, who own the building, will officially open a public exhibition inviting people to comment on the proposals before they are submitted for planning later this year.
The transformation of Colston Hall will create one of the best arts and learning facilities in the country and involve remodelling and upgrading the Main Hall, Lantern, cellars and historic foyer spaces.
The exhibition will showcase the second phase of Bristol’s biggest ever redevelopment programme in the arts sector. The first phase involved the construction of the £20 million foyer space, which opened in 2009. The rest of the building has not been refurbished for 60 years, making it the only major concert hall in the UK not to have been redeveloped in recent times.
The transformation programme includes:
- Redeveloping The Lantern into an elegant and versatile performance venue
- Opening up the historic cellars for the first time in 100 years to create a cabaret style performance area and education areas for lifelong learning, including new classrooms and a technology lab, to provide an inspiring base to educate 20,000 children every year
- Restoring the historic foyer and the Colston Street frontage
- Breathing new life into Colston Street’s public realm by opening up the Byzantine colonnades and restoring the buildings 150 year old historic façade
- Exceeding national accessibility requirements for disabled people, creating fully accessible education facilities so that around 1,800 local disabled children can learn
Louise Mitchell, chief executive of Bristol Music Trust, commented: “As we celebrate the 150th anniversary of Colston Hall we enter a key stage in the second phase of our ambitious transformation programme.
“The Hall hasn’t been updated since the 1950’s so it’s long overdue a refurbishment that will give Bristol and the South West a world class venue to be proud of.
“We invite the public to view and comment on our plans for the Hall that will transform it into a performance centre fit for the 21st century and secure its place as one of the best arts and learning facilities in the country for the next 150 years.”
Cllr Estella Tincknell, Bristol City Council’s Deputy Mayor, said: “This is an important milestone for Colston Hall’s redevelopment project and I hope as many people as possible take the opportunity to look at the proposals.
“Colston Hall plays an important part in the region’s cultural infrastructure, supporting the city’s economy and delivering educational opportunities for young people from across the city. The next phase of redevelopment will allow this important venue to develop its full potential as a national leader in the arts and music education.”
The plans will be on show in the Colston Hall Foyer until Friday 24th February and available online at www.colstonhall.org/transformation/public-consultation.
The public are also invited to attend drop-in sessions when the project team will be available to answer questions on the plans on Saturday 11th February between 10am and 4pm.