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Birmingham Symphony Hall receives £4.5million funding boost

By Rebecca Stanley | Birmingham | Attractions | Published:

Birmingham Town Hall and Symphony Hall (THSH) has received a funding boost from Arts Council's Capital funding programme.

Plans for Birmingham Symphony Hall

Arts Council is investing £4.5million of National Lottery money in the project, which will allow THSH to update Symphony Hall’s foyers, create new learning and participation spaces.

The project will create opportunities for artists to perform in the foyers, and a daily programme with free and affordable performances. Alongside flexible spaces that can host workshops, pre-show talks and corporate guests, opportunities will also be made available to artists with limited mobility, sensory and cognitive disabilities.

The venue presents a wide-ranging programme of music, comedy and spoken word, and the project, with a total cost of £13.2 million, will mean that more people can access and enjoy this work.

Peter Knott, area director for Arts Council England, said: “This is fantastic news for Birmingham and a great opportunity for THSH to do something truly ambitious – creating new spaces for artists to perform and new spaces for audiences to experience great arts and culture, and really cementing its place in Birmingham’s cultural landscape.

“These are exciting times for Birmingham as we approach the Commonwealth Games 2022 and we’re pleased to be investing in a project which will benefit so many local people and their communities.

"When arts, cultural and heritage organisations join forces with local authorities, enterprise partnerships, tourism boards and businesses, great things can happen – and where there are great ideas and genuine partnerships - our funding has a huge impact.”

Nick Reed, chief executive for THSH said: “This extraordinary project will ensure that Symphony Hall will continue to be a creative force and financially independent long into the future.

"We are incredibly thankful to Arts Council England, and many other supporters, for recognising the inspiring work currently delivered and committing to our ambitious aspirations to deliver even more inspirational activities.

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"We currently reach more than 18,000 people with our learning and community programme and over the coming years we will be able to reach thousands more in the transformed spaces that this project will create.”

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “Symphony Hall is one of the region’s best landmarks and a real jewel in Birmingham’s crown.

"I spent several years as the vice-chairman of Performances Birmingham, which runs THSH, so I have seen first-hand just how wonderful the venue is.

“One of the real strengths of the Symphony Hall has always been how it offers a space for people to be creative, and so I am delighted that this new £4.5m investment in the hall will open up more spaces for those wanting to perform.”

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The transformation of Symphony Hall’s foyers has also gained support from the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP).

Katie Trout, director at GBSLEP, said: “GBSLEP is delighted to be investing up to £6 million of funding from the local growth fund in this exciting project, which will help to realise our ambitions to grow the creative sector, improve experiences and access to the arts for a more diverse group of artists, and visitors.

“As an economy that is worth £4 billion gross value added and accounts for 50,000 jobs across the Greater Birmingham and Solihull area, the creative economy is a key part of our growth plans, and the West Midlands Local Industrial Strategy, enriching the lives of the people that live, work and visit the region.”

Rebecca Stanley

By Rebecca Stanley
@becci_star

Entertainment journalist for Express & Star and Shropshire Star. Contact me: rebecca.stanley@expressandstar.co.uk

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