News

£4.75m investment confirmed from The National Lottery

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 is focussed on 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 as the leading arts centre in the South West and one of the best in the UK.

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 in our Colston Hall Presents programme.

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 is 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.

Thanks to this funding, and other contributions, our fundraising campaign is in great shape and we are counting down to June when the ambitious work, which will produce a world-class venue Bristol can be proud of, can begin.”

This support from The National Lottery will allow Bristol Music Trust to create new opportunities to celebrate the vibrant history of the Hall using archives and customer memories. Permanent displays in the building will give audiences a new insight into the central role the Hall has played in Bristol life for over 150 years, from campaigning suffragettes hiding in the organ pipes to the Beatles being famously flour bombed on the main hall stage.

Sitting alongside this interpretation work will be an extensive programme of engagement activities with local groups and schools around the heritage of the building, including a project with college students exploring the history of recorded sound.

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, an impressive £41m has been raised. An extensive fundraising campaign is now under way to reach the overall target of £48.8m.

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.

Earlier this year the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid, approved the project, following on from planning permission being granted by Bristol City Council in December 2017.

Willmott Dixon, one of the UK’s most experienced regenerators of famous heritage and leisure facilities, had been selected by Bristol City Council as the preferred bidder to take the transformation to the next stage of development. Wilmott Dixon was behind Colston Hall’s distinctive Foyer, which was opened in 2009.

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.

Our public giving campaign was launched in 2017, urging the people of Bristol to help secure the future of the Hall by naming a seat for as little as £5 a month. Donors, who can make a one-off contribution or a monthly one over four years, will receive a plaque on their chosen seat with the dedication of their choice ready for when the transformed Hall reopens in 2020.

Further information on the transformation of the Hall can be found here www.colstonhall.org/transform-the-hall or by following #TransformtheHall on social media channels.

Are you a National Lottery player?

As a thank you to all National Lottery players, whose generous support funds the £4.75million grant awarded to Bristol Music Trust, we’re offering FREE backstage tours to all National Lottery ticket holders at 6pm on Wednesday 9 May.

Come down to Colston Hall next week with your National Lottery ticket, valid for that week, and we’ll take you on an exclusive backstage tour to uncover stories from our 150 year-old history.