Bristol businesses back campaign to transform Colston Hall

A host of Bristol businesses are backing the campaign to transform Colston Hall, with recent commitments raising over £350,000 towards the transformation.

A series of businesses have joined the Transform the Hall campaign as corporate partners offering financial or in kind support to help raise the funds required to roll out the biggest ever capital project to take place in Bristol’s arts sector.

Global engineering and scientific technology firm, Renishaw, was the first corporate partner to sign up, supporting the creation of a new music education suite by naming the space as part of the transformation of the Hall’s historic cellars.

Renishaw has been joined by the Bristol office of global professional services firm, Arup, whose engineers are playing a central role in the transformation of Colston Hall. Also supporting the campaign is Bristol based company Rowan Dartington through their corporate charity the St. James’s Place Charitable Foundation and law firm DAC Beachcroft.

In addition, internal communications agency Home has created the campaign video and accountants KPMG have also provided in kind support.

Louise Mitchell, Chief Executive of Bristol Music Trust, commented:

“To have the support of Bristol businesses is wonderful and incredibly encouraging for the Trust. We hope other companies will also see the benefits to themselves and the wider region and follow the lead of Renishaw, Arup, St James’s Place, DAC Beachcroft, Home and KPMG in supporting this inspiring transformation.”

David McMurtry, co-founder of Renishaw, commented:

“The work of the Trust in the region is important for an employer like Renishaw. High quality cultural and educational provision is a part of the package that makes this part of the world so attractive for our employees and helps with our future talent pipeline. A transformed Colston Hall will be a huge asset to the region and we are delighted to be involved.”

Nick Knapman, Location Head of DAC Beachcroft, commented:

“We are delighted to support Bristol Music Trust and the ambitious transformation of Colston Hall that will provide the people of Bristol with the concert hall they deserve.”

Carol Whitworth, Founder of Home, commented:

“We’ve been able to use our creative resources and energies to deliver a campaign video for the Hall that really tells the story of this landmark venue, which sits at the heart of our city and has provided me, and many others, with so many cherished moments.”

Peter Schneider, Arup’s project director for the Colston Hall transformation and a leader in its Bristol building engineering practice said:

“We have long been supporters of the Hall, having been the engineering designer for the foyer extension that opened in 2009, and more recently focused on the renewal of Colston Hall’s historic spaces. We are proud to be involved in this exciting next chapter.

Sebastian Roiz De Sa from Rowan Dartington commented: “We are delighted to support the work of the Trust, our donation is going towards the facilities to assist the work the Trust does with young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. We looked at their programme and could see it was both inspiring and well run, delivering great benefit to its participants.”

In order to fund the transformation, the team at Colston Hall have already secured £41.8 million against a target of £48.8 million.

The transformation of Colston Hall will create one of the best arts and learning facilities in the country and includes remodelling and upgrading the Main Hall and The Lantern, opening up the extensive cellars for the first time in 150 years – creating a new intimate performance space and a state-of-the-art education suite – and refurbishing the historic fabric of the building.

The first phase of the transformation 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.

Major financial commitments include £10 million from Bristol City Council, £5 million from HM Treasury, £10 million from Arts Council England, £4.75 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund, £5 million from the West of England Combined Authority and Local Enterprise Partnership and generous support from local donors and Trusts and Foundations.

Further information on the transformation of the Hall can be found online at or by following #transformthehall on social media channels.

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