For the last five years, Hall for Cornwall has been planning a significant £19.8 million capital redevelopment project which will enable us to build Cornwall’s theatre for the next generation.
The ambition is that the project will elevate us to a venue that will become the organisation of choice for producers and practitioners who wish to showcase excellent work in Cornwall and the South West. It will also improve our sustainability and resilience, thereby securing our long term future and achieving our artistic vision to be a primary culture and economic driver for Cornwall.
The proposed redevelopment gained initial support from Arts Council England in 2014 with a Stage 1 application award which, in association with Cornwall Council, funded the initial designs and the appointment of architects, Burrell Foley Fischer.
In May this year, Arts Council England approved our Stage II funding application, awarding £5 million towards the redevelopment. In addition, we were awarded £2million from central government in March 2016 and planning permission has also now been secured, following an extensive public consultation earlier this year.
In August, initial support was granted from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the Revealing City Hall: One Building, 1265 Voices project, in recognition of the building’s importance as an historic civic and cultural centre at the heart of Cornwall’s community. Development funding has been awarded to help progress plans to apply for a full grant at a later stage.
The HLF project is a significant part of the proposed redevelopment which, alongside a new theatre auditorium and an ERDF funded QuayWorks creative business hub, will aim to conserve and reinvigorate the Grade II City Hall site, unveiling its 350-year history through an activity programme that will reveal previously untold stories of the building, the surrounding Truro area, its people and communities.
Cornwall Council is a dedicated partner of the proposed capital project and we are grateful for their continued support. There is further funding to put in place before there are any firm plans that the project will happen. However, such large awards are a testament to how highly stakeholders view the organisation.
The project must now secure funds from a variety of public and private sources. Until then, the theatre remains open for business as usual, offering an exciting programme of performance, comedy, music and dance.