Hallé successful in first-phase bid for Arts Council funding

7th January 2016

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Six organisations from across the North, including in Bolton, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Sunderland, have been invited to apply to the second stage of the Arts Council’s large capital grants funding programme. The majority of the projects focus on the refurbishment or extension of existing arts buildings and range from upgrades of spaces to large scale renovations and improvements.

As the Bolton Octagon celebrates its 50th birthday, it is aiming to renew and transform the theatre to ensure it is fit for the future – including new participation facilities, the modernisation of the auditorium, increased backstage space and improved accessibility.

The Hallé in Manchester plans to construct a new build extension to complete the conversion of St Peter’s in Ancoats into a centre with exceptional facilities for training and leadership in choral singing, together with a fully functional home for the Hallé’s work outside the Bridgewater Hall.

Inner City Music in Manchester plans to expand the Band on the Wall main venue space into the derelict building behind to increase the venue capacity by approximately 30 per cent and develop the ancillary spaces to include additional learning and participation facilities to support their charitable aims.

The MAC Trust in Sunderland plans to develop a multi-use auditorium providing theatre, music and performance space which will act as the fulcrum for the MAC Quarter. The auditorium will become both a focal point developing and showcasing Sunderland’s artistic and cultural talent and also attract national and international artists and performers.

The Royal Court Theatre in Liverpool plans to develop its building to be fully accessible and financially and environmentally sustainable. It is hoped that subsequent programme developments will result in increased audiences, making the theatre more resilient for future generations.

In partnership with Leeds City Council, the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds plans to upgrade the building to match its renewed artistic ambition.

The Arts Council’s large capital grants support organisations to improve existing buildings to make them more economically and environmentally sustainable, and give arts organisations the right buildings and equipment to support the delivery of their work.

The successful applicants will now be invited to complete a stage two application within the next 18 months, showing plans at a detailed stage of design and development. This will allow the Arts Council to assess the projects against criteria including long-term sustainability and resilience, the potential for partnership funding, and whether the organisation is able to manage and deliver the work proposed. Funding of £25,833,019 will be awarded in the North if the organisations are successful at the second stage of the application process.

Sarah Maxfield, Arts Council England’s Area Director, North commented: “Through our large-scale capital programme we are able to support a range of exciting and ambitions proposals across the area. These six projects in the North, which would bring great benefits for artists and audiences, are now able to progress to the next stage. We are delighted to be able to help get them off the ground.”

The next round of the large capital grants funding programme will open in 2016/2017, with a budget of £43 million available for the benefit of arts organisations across the country.

The Arts Council also recognises the need to invest in smaller scale capital work; the successful applicants to the Arts Council’s next round of small capital grants will be announced in early February. One further application round of small grants will also take place later in 2016.

For more information contact:
Fiona Davidson, Officer Communications & Advocacy
Tel: 0161 934 4442
Email: fiona.davidson@artscouncil.org.uk

Please click here to read Arts Council England’s National press release.