JBP to manage Colston Hall’s £45m Thank You for the Music transformation appeal

October 17, 2014

Bristol PR agency JBP has been appointed by the Bristol Music Trust, which runs the city’s iconic music venue Colston Hall, to provide media and political communications support for its £45m transformation appeal.

The agency will manage the communications campaign Thank You for the Music which aims to make Colston Hall an international standard concert venue and a national centre for entertainment, education and enterprise across the arts spectrum.

Work is expected to start by 2017, the hall's 150th anniversary, in readiness for an opening in 2019.

Colston Hall has led the field in music from dance to early rock n’ roll, from beat groups to prog rock. It has played host to some of the major musical influences down the years from Louis Armstrong to The Beatles and Bob Dylan.

The transformation plans include:

  • remodelling the existing main auditorium, with major changes to the stage and equipping it with international standards of acoustics, comfort and flexibility
  • redeveloping the second hall, known as The Lantern, into an elegant and versatile performance venue – The Lantern started life as the Little Theatre in the 1920s and became a bar until it was turned back into a second performance area in 2009
  • the introduction of flexible seating technology which will enable the venue to be used for a variety of purposes – from a range of performances covering the arts spectrum to festivals, corporate events and graduations
  • opening up the cellars, which are underneath the auditorium, for the first time in 100 years to provide educational workshops, workspace for performing arts business enterprises and a cabaret style performance area
  • restoring the historic core of the building  and the Colston Street frontage to its Victorian magnificence
  • bringing back the historic colonnade to its former glory.

The transformation will form phase two of Bristol’s biggest-ever redevelopment programme in the arts sector. The first stage involved the construction of the £20m foyer, which opened in 2009.

JBP managing director Chris Lawrance said: “We are delighted to be supporting the transformation of this iconic building and to be involved in arguably the largest fundraising programme in the city for a long time.

“The city needs a top-class venue of this nature and it will complement the arena development at Temple Meads, which will be designed for bigger audiences.

“This programme will also build on our success in supporting high-profile charities including the National Eye Research Centre and Access to Medicine.”

Bristol Music Trust chief executive Louise Mitchell added: “There has been no major refurbishment of Colston Hall for the last 60 years. Indeed it is the only concert hall in the UK not to have been redeveloped in recent times. Therefore we have ambitious plans to transform the venue into a facility fit for the 21st century, which will ensure that the hall continues to be a driving force in the performing arts arena for another 150 years. We appointed JBP due to their track record in the charity sector and for their national media and political networks.”

Pictured: Bristol West MP Stephen Williams and Bristol Music Trust chief executive Louise Mitchell at the launch of Thank You For The Music



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