Bristol’s Colston Hall, which celebrates its 150th anniversary in September, has unveiled plans for a £48m refurbishment to make it a world-class music hub for the South West.
The latest artist’s impressions of the ambitious project, which will involve remodelling and upgrading the Main Hall, Lantern cellars and historic foyer spaces to improve facilities for audiences and performers, have been revealed.
A public consultation exhibiting the new plans opened 8th Feb, 2017, and people are being invited to comment on the proposals before a formal planning application is submitted later this year.
The charitable trust which runs the city centre venue says the improvements will benefit artists and producers as well as audiences, improving the acoustics of the performance areas and opening up new venues in parts of the Colston Hall which are currently unused.
Louise Mitchell, chief executive of Bristol Music Trust, speaking at the launch of the public consultation, commented: “As we celebrate the 150th anniversary of Colston Hall we enter a key stage in the second phase of our 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 West Country a world class venue to be proud of.
“Today, we invite the public to view our plans for the Hall that will transform it into a performance centre fit for the 21st century and secure its place as a leading national arts centre for the next 150 years.”
The plans, by architects Levitt Bernstein, will see the capacity of the Main Hall increased and major changes to the stage, making it more flexible and able to accommodate larger bands and orchestras and more production equipment.
The Colston Hall’s second venue, The Lantern, will be redeveloped into an elegant and versatile performance venue with flexible seating technology.
The venue’s historic cellars will be used again for the first time in 100 years, turned into educational workshop spaces, a hub for performing arts business enterprises and a new performance area.
Colston Hall’s frontage will also be restored and a new restaurant will be built where the venue’s old ticket office currently sits.
The ambitious plans represent the first major improvements to the performance spaces in the Colston Hall for the Festival of Britain in 1951. Since then the likes of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones have played there, but it is the only major concert hall in the UK not to have been redeveloped in recent times. This work forms phase two of the venue’s redevelopment following the construction of a £20million new foyer space opened in 2009.
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.
Pictured: Artists impression of the new main hall