A £12M blueprint to refurbish Liverpool's Grade II* listed Philharmonic Hall has been submitted to city planners today.
The proposals include a new performance space for small-scale concerts, improvements to front-of house facilities and backstage areas; the rebuilding of performance areas and greener, cleaner measures to reduce power consumption across the building.
The Art Deco building, home of the world class Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and venue for much more, celebrates its 75th anniversary next year. However there is still some financial way to go before the drawings – first stage released here - become set in bricks and mortar.
In 2010, the Phil secured seed funding of £634,000 from Arts Council England to redevelop the hall. It subsequently appointed architects Caruso St John to develop the designs for the refurbishment of the 1939 concert hall.
In the meantime, Liverpool Philharmonic has been seeking to secure the necessary public investment for the refurbishment of the hall, including a further £7.5 million from Arts Council England. ACE will make a decision on Liverpool Philharmonic’s Stage Two application to its Capital Grants programme by June.
If that happens, and if Liverpool Philharmonic successfully attracts additional cash from other private funding sources, Liverpool City Council has pledged to chip in £2m to the fund.
This September, a public giving campaign will be launched to help meet the £12 million cost of the plan. Liverpool City Council, which owns the building, will also update and refresh the leasing agreement.
Michael Eakin, Chief Executive of Liverpool Philharmonic said: “Lodging our planning application with the city moves us another step closer to realising our ambition for the refurbishment of our home. As we plan the celebrations to mark our two forthcoming anniversaries, we believe that our design team, led by Caruso St. John’s have developed architectural plans that complement and enhance one of Liverpool’s great buildings and will enable us to cherish and protect it for future generations.”
If all goes to plan, work will commence next spring, with the venue closed until the end of October 2014.
The full programme of works will be completed during 2015, the 175th anniversary of the founding of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic.
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There has been a Liverpool Philharmonic Hall on the same site on Hope Street since 1849.
A new hall opened on June 20, 1939, designed by architect Herbert J. Rowse whose other buildings in Liverpool include Martin’s Bank, India Buildings and the Queensway Tunnel entrances, toll booths and ventilation building exteriors.
Apart from being the base of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the hall is also high on the touring venue circuit for mainstream acts.
It also curates and programmes the critically acclaimed Irish Sea Sessions every October and, in a voluntary capacity, is largely responsible for the outdoor Hope Street Feast which attracts tens of thousands of people every year and will hopefully continue to do so for many years to come.
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