Hall For Cornwall (HFC) has secured a £2m investment from the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), the last piece of public funding required to deliver a £20m rebuild.
It means that on 2 June 2018, Hall For Cornwall will close for 20 months for an ambitious and much-needed refurbishment of the theatre and transform the venue into a dynamic and high-quality environment that will give the people of Cornwall access to the best performing arts to rival any city in the country.
A spokesperson for H4C said
“After six years of planning, we are thrilled that funding is now in place to move forward with this exciting project that will see the auditorium increase in size, enabling us to attract top West End shows and promote and support creative talent, alongside developing our work with schools and young people. In addition, new cafés and bars, a Heritage Lottery funded project and new digital creative business hub, will combine together to create a venue that will continue to inspire, educate and be enjoyed”.
The New Hall for Cornwall
• HOUSE a redesigned 3-tiered auditorium with increased seating capacity (maximum 1,354), improved sightlines, acoustics and comfort.
• STAGE a diverse programme that will continue to bring the highest quality in touring shows from across the UK and overseas, balancing popular work and classics against creative risk taking and Cornish generated projects. Contemporary and classical music will be developed, as will opera and dance.
• REVEAL the heritage story of the building through a Heritage Lottery Funded project that will conserve, restore and promote the building’s story and importance within Truro and Cornwall.
• REINSTATE Boscawen Street entrance as the front entrance/foyer to the new theatre as well as the City Chamber.
• CREATE new bars and cafés on both sides of the building.
• IMPROVE wheelchair access and a choice of accessible seating and a Space to Change facility with a ceiling track hoist and adjustable adult-size changing bench, one of the few businesses in Cornwall to offer this much needed facility.
• LAUNCH an ERDF & LEP funded Creative business hub in the Back Quay area of the building providing 1,156m of office, meeting and breakout spaces for HFC staff teams, resident companies, post-graduates and other creative industries.
• BUILD a public ‘Ope’ which will run through the building allowing public access between the new entrance foyer and Lemon Quay and offering behind the scenes glimpses into the daytime workings of an auditorium.
The final and celebratory performance to conclude this chapter in the hall’s history will be Saturday 2 June 2018. with the help of Cornish band The People’s String Foundation Orchestra.
It is anticipated that the newly refurbished theatre will open 2020.
“We are confident that we can deliver a world class venue that Cornwall deserves and that the community will be proud of in the years to come. We look forward to welcoming you on our journey”.
The project will see the auditorium increase to 1,354 seats, enabling HFC to attract top West End productions.
Julien Boast, HFC’s CEO and Creative Director commented; “Cornwall deserves a theatre that will continue to inspire, educate and engage and bring the best productions in the Country to Cornwall.
The LEP’s investment comes from the Government’s Local Growth Fund and will support the creation of 1156m2 of cutting edge workspace to nurture Cornwall’s booming Creative Industries sector. A Creative Tech Hub will include support for post-graduates, new talent and start-up businesses to create a new digital and creative cluster. A further £2m of European Regional Development Funding (ERDF) has already been secured for this element of the project.
Emmie Kell, Creative Industries lead on the LEP Board, said: “The creative economy is growing – it already employs 27,000 people in our region and we want to be the destination of choice for creative businesses. The LEP’s investment supports that ambition and fuses artistic heritage with a fast-growing tech sector so we can hothouse new businesses and quality jobs.”
HFCs rebuild will conserve and reinvigorate Christopher Eales’ 1846 Grade II* building’s Boscawen Street and Lemon Quay public spaces that envelop the central auditorium. With Heritage Lottery Funding support, City Hall will be restored to its rightful place at the centre of civic, cultural and economic life.
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Work to rebuild HFC will begin in July 2018 with the new building being unveiled 2020. During construction, HFC will host a series of open days to welcome the community to view the build’s progression.
In addition, HFCs outreach work will be developed. Julien Boast commented; “We have a proud history of community and school engagement and creative and talent development from Launceston to the Lizard. Proposed new facilities and additional investment mean we can do much more of this in the future and we will be building an outreach programme during closure”.
He further comments: “Over the last five years and as part of the development process, we have worked closely with our partners at Truro City Council to help us consult widely on plans for the new building. We were delighted that over a thousand people fed their ideas and views in to the new design. With this level of commitment and interest we are confident we have developed an ambitious proposal that the community will be proud of in the years to come.’
Cllr. John Tamblyn, Mayor of Truro, said ‘This exciting project provides a great boost for Truro and will lead the way in terms of our own city centre regeneration plans. Thriving cities need a vibrant cultural scene to attract residents, tourists and businesses, and we think Hall For Cornwall’s plans deliver this for Truro”.