£1.5m boost for redevelopment of Aberdeen’s iconic Music Hall

£1.5m boost for redevelopment of Aberdeen’s iconic Music Hall

Plans to revitalise Aberdeen’s historic Music Hall have been given a £1.5m cash boost from Creative Scotland.

From their capital investment programme, the grant announced today is a massive vote of confidence in the redevelopment plans by Aberdeen Performing Arts (APA) – the company which operates the iconic venue at the musical heart of the city.

They are to receive £100,000 for development costs to take their £7m project to regenerate the Music Hall to the next level and a further £1,400,000 has been earmarked for future work.

It brings the total funds for the redevelopment so far to £3,750,000 – including £1m in funding from Aberdeen City Council and £1.25m from APA’s restoration fund – money raised by the general public through ticket sales.

This is a great vote of confidence in our project,” said APA chief executive Jane Spiers. “The Music Hall is Scotland’s concert hall in the North-east – it’s a favourite with musicians and performers all over the world from Emeli Sandé, whose earliest memory of performing is of taking to the Music Hall stage as an eight-year-old school pupil, to Sir John Barbirolli who called it 'a beautiful space to make music with a perfect acoustic.'”

The funding will be used to create a new studio space and new creative learning space; to restore and renovate the auditorium; to improve artistic accommodation; to create a new box office and to make the 155 year old building more environmentally friendly.

It will allow us to address long-standing access issues and improve circulation – it will literally transform public access making a new visual connection from Union Street right to the heart of the building,” added Jane.

It will put the Music Hall at the heart of the regeneration of Union Street.

“But what this project is really about is helping to create step change in the arts in Aberdeen, ensuring a future for the next generation of musicians, artists and audiences, providing more opportunities for young people to make and experience music, making sure we continue to attract artists and musicians of the highest calibre to the city.

“The Music Hall has been at the heart of civic, community and cultural life in Aberdeen for almost 200 years and we want to make sure it's there for the next 200.

APA has appointed award-winning architects Building Design Partnership (BDP) to draw up plans to transform, what they describe as a ‘sleeping beauty’ of a building, into a truly great and popular cultural, civic and community asset.

Posted on Tuesday 28 January

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