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New look Philharmonic Hall a step closer

£12m plans lodged and funding campaign orchestrated

Published on March 28th 2013.

New look Philharmonic Hall a step closer

£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. 

Entrance Foyer And Box Office Perspective %28800X531%29Entrance Foyer And Box Office 

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.

More reading here.

Home of Britain's oldest orchestra and more

There has been a Liverpool Philharmonic Hall on the same site on Hope Street since 1849.

Hope Street FeastVery popular with the
people: Hope Street Feast
The original hall, designed by architect John Cunningham opened on 27th August 1849 and was destroyed by fire on 5th July 1933.  

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.

Grand Foyer Bar %28800X561%29

Myrtle St %28800X566%29

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17 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Absinthe & TurksMarch 28th 2013.

'Ang on a tick! Wasn't the Philharmonic closed for ages only a few years ago for a refurbishment? The auditorium ceiling was replaced, the Rodewald suite, the side doors, that big extention around the back where Modern Kitchen Equipment used to be were all done then.
The orchestra had to perform in St. George's Hall with its awful acoustics for a year or so while the work was being done.

Luckily plans for inserting 'glass floors' half the height of the Foyer Bar weren't carried out!

I hope that big ugly sign gets rejected.

AnonymousMarch 29th 2013.

I heard that this had all been stopped due to the discovery of some 1930's mortar holding some of the original bricks in place

It'll be a scandal if they rake that out and destroy the character of another of our historic buildings

AnonymousMarch 29th 2013.

"is largely responsible for the outdoor Hope Street Feast which attracts hundreds of thousands of people every year"

Shurely shome mishtake here??
Didn't seem that many last time!

2 Responses: Reply To This...
EditorialMarch 29th 2013.


AnonymousMarch 29th 2013.

That's better!! ;-)

Defo agree about the "hopefully" bit though, great event and atmosphere

AnonymousApril 2nd 2013.

12 million pounds in this economic climate, wow!, lol is all I can think to say, if you didnt laugh you'd cry

AnonymousApril 2nd 2013.

Looks like someone down my comment for some odd reason. ...12 million pounds in this economic climate, lol...if you didnt laugh youd cry.

AnonymousApril 2nd 2013.

Ctrl + F5 and it'll be back again. Call off the enquiry etc

Liverpool WagApril 3rd 2013.

It would be terrible if anything happened to the Hope Street Feast. Long may it reign!

AnonymousApril 4th 2013.

Yes, I was wondering about the Hope Street Feast. I hear that this superb annual event is currently getting luke warm to rather chilly support from the council and the Mayor. I suppose if Maghul want to have the street kept clear to start work on their rather dull and out of character massive student block (on the site of Josephine Butler House and the carpark) then it will be a case of stuff the feast and ignore last years Best Street award. The developers, the same ones who smashed the Victorian cladding off JB House pretending they were doing restoration will be given priority. And I suppose once it's built and with no car parking available to the massive block, the council will do their best to kill off the event.
Perhaps it is too civilised and doesn't attract the same quality and quantity of vomiting drunks as Mathew Street.

Hope I am wrong.

1 Response: Reply To This...
KnowledgeableApril 4th 2013.

What a dreadful scenario. Uncle Joe wouldn't let that happen, would he?

Hilary BurrageApril 7th 2013.

Well I rather gather the new Festival will bring together the best of the Mathew Street event and the other even earlier original Hope Street Festival dreamingrealist.co.uk/…/…
The Hope Street Feast came quite a bit later and seems to have eclipsed the original Festival (which had many and various activities), so let's hope they can now co-exist in some way via the new proposal...
Here's some background info on the Best Street Award too: hilaryburrage.com/…/… It all started almost 20 years ago!

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousApril 8th 2013.

Oh blimey, not again...yes we know. It's all thanks to you.

John BradleyApril 8th 2013.

Your support for this and the Everyman together with your opposition to the new building across the road give a firm indication of your NIMBY attitude.
You support things proposed by you friends in the Hope Street "artistic" Mafia and opposed anyone else.
Here unlike the future of Liverpool group on Linkedin, you do not have the ability to delete the posts of others and block them from the group. Nor can you set the system up so that you get to vet all posts.

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