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City bails out Philharmonic Hall as refurb costs rocket

£2m top-up will be clawed back by cutting annual grant

Written by . Published on October 21st 2014.

City bails out Philharmonic Hall as refurb costs rocket


PRIVATE donors have come to the rescue after the costs of refurbishing Liverpool’s Philharmonic Hall rocketed by £1.8m.
The city council’s cabinet is also expected to approve up to £2m extra on top of the money it has already given towards the work.
The council will cut the annual grant it gives to the RLPO by £500,000 for at least the next two years to claw back some of the extra money, effectively halving its handout to the Phil.
Today Michael Eakin, the Phil’s chief executive, spoke to Liverpool Confidential about the extra funding needed to complete what started as a £12m facelift scheme.
 He said: “the city council is proposing, subject to Cabinet approval, to increase their capital contribution to the major refurbishment of Liverpool Philharmonic Hall by up to £2m, offset by a reduction of £500k per annum over the next two years in its revenue grant, and a long term lease repayment. This will support both the completion of the Hall refurbishment programme and Liverpool Philharmonic’s cashflow during the works.
“In addition, in the last financial year,  Liverpool Philharmonic received a £1m contribution from Arts Council England to help support our overall cash flow, and financial stability. We have also now raised £2m from private donors, sponsors and trusts and foundations towards the Hall refurbishment.
“This support is helping us to make an increased contribution to the project from our own reserves. When concerts resume in the Hall in November, works will be continuing towards the full completion of the refurbishment programme in summer 2015.”
Earlier this week the Phil announced some events due to take place in Hope Street had been switched to other venues, or slightly delayed.
Main concerts in the main hall are not affected and will take place as scheduled.
When work started on the facelift a number of additional issues came to light, requiring extra work at the rear of the building. This extra work, as well as needing extra funding, has delayed the completion of the work.
The extra funding has been backed by Mayor Anderson to ensure the continuation of what the mayor describes as "a significant Liverpool institution, operating from an appropriate venue for the city’s cultural offer".


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

d. sharpOctober 21st 2014.

Whatever was wrong with the expensive refurbishment the Hall had only about ten years ago?

1 Response: Reply To This...
John BradleyOctober 21st 2014.

At least part of it is a fuck up. They have demolished the extension that the recently built.

AnonymousOctober 21st 2014.

About 20 years ago.

4 Responses: Reply To This...
d. sharpOctober 21st 2014.

The Hall cost £120,000 to build and opened in 1939, not needing refurbishment for nearly sixty years. Get the original builder and architects on the job!

AnonymousOctober 22nd 2014.

So Liverpool and Everton football clubs should be perfectly happy with the stadia they've had since the 1930s? At least the tickets at the Philharmonic are a damn sight cheaper than for football.

d. SharpOctober 22nd 2014.

My point was that it is nowadays fashionable to engage trendy architects who are responsible for things like the Unity Building and the Mann Island black coffins that start falling apart before the paint has had time to dry. The last (very expensive) refurbishment to one of Liverpool's landmark buildings seems to have been a waste of money with the Hall having to be done all over again only eighteen years later. The Philharmonic was built as a concert hall, not a cash cow for architects, designers and builders.

d. SharpOctober 22nd 2014.

In the last lot the designers wanted to ruin the foyer bar by putting in a new floor made of glass halfway up the walls - thank goodness that came to nothing.

B. flatOctober 21st 2014.

"Cultural offer"? Joe needs to see a speech therapist, he's caught PR bollockspeak.

Sid BonkersOctober 21st 2014.

Bit confused here ... Is this in addition to the previously publicised £2m the city was always putting into this project, or is it the same money re-spun?

4 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousOctober 21st 2014.

The 'new' £2m is in addition to the money the council has already stumped up, potentially making it £4m (if the whole of the extra £2m is taken).

AnonymousOctober 21st 2014.

I am sure the people of Croxteth, Dovecot and Norris Green will be delighted, when things like libraries are going, that Uncle Joe can produce a few million out of his hat to bail out the hob-nobbers of Hope Street.

Chief FiddleOctober 22nd 2014.

This is very true. Maybe the Philharmonic should sack the builders and get Uncle Joe's mate Lawrence Kenwright on the job to save a bit of money.

AnonymousOctober 22nd 2014.

Never mind, I'm sure we can sell off some more parkland to pay for this.

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