Season 1, Ep. 3 – Accessibility: physical, cultural and social

Welcome to the Transformation Pod – our series that gets backstage and under the floor boards of the largest capital arts programme ever to take place in the South West.

Over the next two years, Colston Hall will undergo a £48.8 million transformation that will ensure Bristol has a world class concert venue of international significance at the heart of the city.

In this third episode, we discuss our ambition to build a venue with gold-standard levels of accessibility for both audiences and performers. We hear from architect Mark Lewis about how the designs for the transformed hall mean backstage areas and stage access, as well as front of house areas, are being designed with access for all as a priority.

But that’s only the beginning. We also hear from Siggy Patchitt – Head of the new National Centre for Inclusive Excellence programme at Bristol Music Trust – whose aim is to ensure that opportunities for advanced music training are available to all, no matter disability or background.

Conductor Charles Hazlewood talk to us about the pioneering work of the British Paraorchestra and musician Charlotte Bott tells us of her experience as a disabled musician and how the industry needs to change in order for everyone to have the opportunity to express their talent.

To find out more about the work of the National Centre for Inclusive Excellence and watch a short film, please visit:



Presented by Harriet Robinson
Produced by Julia Hayball and Louise Orchard, 2°West

Thank you to the contributors:

Siggy Patchitt – Head of the National Centre for Inclusive Excellence, Bristol Music Trust
Mark Lewis – Architect, Levitt Bernstein
Charles Hazlewood – Founder of The British Paraorchestra
Charlotte Bott – Musician