A £2.1 million chunk of European funding has been secured by Hall for Cornwall from the European Regional Development Fund.
The money will fund QuayWorks, a significant part of the proposed Capital redevelopment project which, alongside a new theatre auditorium and the Heritage Lottery Funded Revealing City Hall: One Building, 1265 Voices project, will, it’s hoped, transform the Hall for Cornwall into a dynamic centre for cultural and economic growth.
The overall plans include a new and enlarged auditorium with 1262 seats and 83 standing positions that will use the original market house walls as a backdrop; and a new bar and restaurant which will please many regular visitors. The plans will also re open the old walk through from Boscawen St to Lemon Quay.
QuayWorks will be a fully accessible creative business project in the Back Quay area of the building, providing 1,156m square metres of offices, meeting and circulation space over three floors. It will provide high digitial comms specification, flexible workspace to nurture post-graduates, new talent and start-up businesses, within the digital and creative economy.
The mezzanine floor will provide lettable space, targeted at Cornwall’s creative industries. The first floor and upper mezzanine levels will provide office accommodation for the theatre’s own staff. Some of the space will have shared occupancy with Hall for Cornwall’s associate companies and artists and this, combined with elements of public meeting spaces, will provide an environment to stimulate collaborative working.
QuayWorks will also be driven by a collaboration between Hall for Cornwall and Falmouth University. The university is supporting the growth of new start-ups in the digital, creative and technology industries through its ground-breaking business incubation programme, Launchpad. QuayWorks will provide a creative workspace for some of these new businesses that could benefit from working alongside others, in an atmosphere of collaboration and innovation.
Commenting on the award, Julien Boast, Director of Hall for Cornwall said:
“We’re delighted that the European Regional Development Fund has given us this support. QuayWorks is integral to advancing the development of the creative industries sector in Cornwall that will have national significance. We hope to encourage collaborative partnerships between developing businesses, emerging digital innovators and our own resident artists and companies, to drive creative innovation, knowledge sharing and job creation. This exciting news is further testimony to the confidence shown in our ambitious redevelopment project, that will not only drive economic and cultural growth in Truro, but also give access to the very best performing arts, to rival any city in the country”.
Cornwall Council’s Portfolio Holder for Economy and Culture, Julian German, said; “The Hall for Cornwall is a key part of our cultural infrastructure and the creative industries are the fastest growing part of our economy. I am, therefore, delighted that this funding has been awarded by the European Regional Development Fund”.
Sarah Newton, MP for Truro and Falmouth commented: “Congratulations to Julien for his vision and leadership for the future of Hall for Cornwall. Cornwall has thriving creative industries and this new workspace will help them continue to grow”.
The project is now awaiting the outcome of an award from the Isles of Scilly & Cornwall Local Enterprise Partnership Growth Fund (LEP), alongside securing funds from a variety of public and private sources. Until then, Hall for Cornwall remains open for business as usual.
Hall for Cornwall (HfC) is one of Cornwall’s major cultural organisations and is the largest performance venue in the region with an annual audience of 180,000.
HfC plays a strategic role within the region as one of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio Organisations. It turns over £4.8 million, employs over 100 people including volunteers, and contributes an economic impact of £12 million each year. Notably however, it has one of the lowest public subsidies of any theatre of its size and catchment area.
Hall for Cornwall’s proposed redevelopment gained initial support from Arts Council England in 2014 with a Stage 1 application award which, in association with Cornwall Council, funded the initial designs and the appointment of architects, Burrell Foley Fischer. In May this year, Arts Council England approved its Stage II funding application, awarding £5 million towards the redevelopment. In addition, Hall For Cornwall was awarded £2million from central government in March 2016 and planning permission has also now been secured, following an extensive public consultation earlier this year.
In September, Hall for Cornwall received initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the Revealing City Hall: One Building, 1265 Voices project, in recognition of the building’s importance as an historic civic and cultural centre at the heart of Cornwall’s community. Development funding of £223,600 has also been awarded to help Hall for Cornwall progress their plans to apply for a full grant of £2,576,900 at a later stage.
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