A £4.75million National Lottery grant has been awarded to Bristol Music Trust for the ambitious redevelopment of Colston Hall.
Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, the grant, which will go towards supporting the restoration of the Hall’s Grade II listed Lantern building, marks another huge step forward for the fundraising campaign for the extensive £48.8m transformation of the venue, due to reopen in 2020.
Work on the transformation is scheduled to begin in June, with Colston Hall’s live programme using the foyer, which will remain open, and other venues across Bristol and Bath.
Nerys Watts, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund South West, said: “Colston Hall is a landmark site in Bristol which is famous for its musical heritage having hosted numerous entertainment ‘greats’, including Duke Ellington and Jimi Hendrix. But it is more than just a wonderful music hall, it also the repository for records and memories that tell the wider story of the city spanning more than a century. Our support, thanks to National Lottery players, will help secure an exciting future for the Hall, placing it once more on the map as one of the South West’s premiere cultural venues.”
Louise Mitchell, chief executive of Bristol Music Trust, the organisation that runs Colston Hall, said: “This very generous funding award from the Heritage Lottery Fund is a major step forward on the road to our final fundraising total, and I’d like to thank them and the people who play The National Lottery.
“The project will allow us to bring the heritage of our amazing Grade II listed Lantern building to life, telling the story of the building through the musicians, communities and audiences who have used and loved the building.”
The Heritage Lottery Fund contribution comes after Arts Council England committed to donating £10million to Colston Hall, the largest single capital award made by ACE in the South West, and HM Treasury committed to a £5million contribution. Together with private donations and funding from Bristol City Council, which owns the building, £42m has already been raised. An extensive fundraising campaign is now under way to reach the overall target of £48.8m.
Wilmott Dixon,who were behind the Colston Hall’s distinctive foyer, which opened in 2009, have been selected by Bristol City Council to carry out the transformation. Architects Levitt Bernstein created the plans for the transformation, which will increase the venue’s capacity by 35 per cent and create 50 full time jobs, on top of the construction jobs.
The transformation of Colston Hall will result in Bristol being home to one of the best arts and learning facilities in the country. The two-year project will see the Main Hall and The Lantern remodelled and the venue’s extensive cellars will be opened up for the first time in 150 years, creating a new intimate performance space and modern education suite.