Clare Jack, formerly of Bath Festivals, will be responsible for reviewing the "financial, commercial and operational competitiveness" of the soon-to-be-refurbed venue
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The historic Bristol venue will seek approval a major refurbishment and expansion to provide the "West Country with a world-class venue to be proud of"
By IQ on 13 Feb 2017
Bristol venue Colston Hall has announced plans for a £48 million refurbishment in a bid to become a “world-class music hub for the south-west” of England.
Under the plans, which opened to public consultation on Friday, the venue’s main hall will be increased from its current capacity of 1,932 and see its main stage expanded to accommodate larger bands and production equipment.
The Lantern, Colston Hall’s smaller second performance space, will be redeveloped into an “elegant and versatile” venue with flexible seating, while the venue’s cellars will also be opened up for the first time in a century, housing a new performance area and workshop spaces.
The work will form what Colston Hall describes as “phase two” of its redevelopment, following the construction of a £20m new foyer in 2009. It notes that while “the likes of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones have played” the venue, it remains “the only major concert hall in the UK not to have been redeveloped in recent times”.
“The hall hasn’t been updated since the 1950s, so it’s long overdue a refurbishment that will give Bristol and the West Country a world-class venue to be proud of”
Speaking at the launch of the public consultation, Louise Mitchell, chief executive of Bristol Music Trust, said: “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 1950s, 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.”
Following the public consultation, a formal planning application will be submitted later this year.
A new arena, jointly operated by Live Nation and SMG Europe, is due to open in Bristol in 2020.
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