Sym­phony Hall to ‘make an en­trance’ in £13m plan

Birmingham Post - - NEWS -

BIRM­ING­HAM’S Sym­phony Hall is set for a £13.5 mil­lion re­de­vel­op­ment fea­tur­ing a new en­trance, ex­tra bars and ad­di­tional per­for­mance spa­ces.

The world-renowned con­cert hall in Birm­ing­ham city cen­tre will be re­mod­elled as part of a project called ‘Mak­ing an En­trance’.

The scheme in­cludes an ex­tended glass front into Cen­te­nary Square, cre­ation of more than 8,000 sq ft of new space, a ded­i­cated front door sep­a­rate to The In­ter­na­tional Con­ven­tion Cen­tre, ex­tra bars and hos­pi­tal­ity, more than 6,000 sq ft of un­der-used space brought into more pro­duc­tive use, new learn­ing and ed­u­ca­tion spa­ces, new cor­po­rate hos­pi­tal­ity suites, re­lo­ca­tion of the box of­fice and an en­hanced front of house per­for­mance space.

The project has been de­tailed in a re­port set to go to Birm­ing­ham City Coun­cil’s cab­i­net bosses on Tues­day (Oc­to­ber 9).

Per­for­mances Birm­ing­ham Ltd, which op­er­ates Sym­phony Hall, has been fundrais­ing for the de­vel­op­ment but has re­quested an op­tion to loan up to £3 mil­lion from the author­ity to com­plete the work if nec­es­sary.

The coun­cil is the sole guar­an­tor for the com­pany and was al­ready set to grant it more than £5 mil­lion over the next five years.

Cer­tain as­pects of the loan agree­ment are con­sid­ered ‘com­mer­cially sen­si­tive’ and will be dis­cussed in pri­vate.

The re­port does not re­veal when the de­vel­op­ment will be com­plete only that it is hoped it will be fin­ished in time for 2022 when Birm­ing­ham hosts the Com­mon­wealth Games.

Sym­phony Hall opened in 1991 and is widely re­garded as one of the world’s best con­cert venues acous­ti­cally thanks to its tra­di­tional shoebox shape in­spired by the fa­mous 19th cen­tury halls.

It is home to the City of Birm­ing­ham Sym­phony Orches­tra.

In 2015, a year be­fore its 25th an­niver­sary, the venue wel­comed more than 350,000 au­di­ences across a pro­gramme of jazz, folk, rock, pop, com­edy and com­mu­nity events.

>The en­trance to Sym­phony Hall will be re­vamped in a £13.5m project

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