The CBSO Centre is set for a major overhaul after bosses secured close to £1.5 million funding.
The centre, where the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra rehearses and occasionally performs, will be upgraded with state-of-the-art acoustics and new seating and lighting.
The funding, from Arts Council England and Garfield Weston Foundation, will also go towards better public open space, offering a more welcoming and flexible, contemporary experience for all visitors and users.
Set in the heart of Birmingham’s cultural quarter, near Symphony Hall where the Orchestra is resident, the centre currently comprises of a 300-seat, fully flexible auditorium, plus office and rehearsal space.
Annmarie Wallis, CBSO director of finance, said she was thrilled to have received a total of £1.47 million.
She said: “We are really fortunate; CBSO Centre is the only purpose built space in the UK to provide a permanent base for a symphony orchestra. It is the backdrop to all of our musical and community activities as well as many award-winning recordings, so it is important that it remains a cutting edge facility.”
CBSO Centre is the rehearsal venue for the Orchestra, its four choruses and Youth Orchestra. It also hosts intimate lunchtime performances and pre-school concerts as well as many other educational projects. Furthermore, it is home to Ex Cathedra and Birmingham Contemporary Music Group.
The work also includes digital improvements to offer a better visitor and user experience for the future.
Stephen Maddock, CBSO chief executive said: “These are exciting times for CBSO Centre. This development, which we hope to have completed for the start of our 2014-15 season, will enable us to provide even better facilities, of which the City of Birmingham can be justly proud. Making these improvements now will put the CBSO in the best possible shape in the run up to our centenary in 2020.”
Philippa Charles, director of the Garfield Weston Foundation commented: “The Foundation is delighted to support the project to improve the building so that the facilities support the high quality of the orchestra and its work.”
Peter Knott, area director of Arts Council England said: “This is really great news for the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra to have secured more than £1.2 million from Arts Council England enabling them to upgrade and improve their existing building. People rehearsing in the building will soon benefit from new seating, lighting and state-of-the-art acoustics.”