Hall For Cornwall (HFC) has secured a £2m investment from the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), the last piece of public funding required to deliver a £20m rebuild of its venue which will bring jobs, economic growth and world class culture to Cornwall.
The exciting project will see the auditorium increase to 1,354 seats, enabling HFC to attract top West End productions, promote local talent and revitalize the night-time economy of Truro.
The LEP’s investment comes from the Government’s Local Growth Fund and will support the creation of 1156m2 of cutting edge workspace to nurture Cornwall’s booming Creative Industries sector. A Creative Tech Hub will include support for post-graduates, new talent and start-up businesses to create a new digital and creative cluster. A further £2m of European Regional Development Funding (ERDF) has already been secured for this element of the project.
Julien Boast, HFC’s CEO and Creative Director commented; “Cornwall deserves a theatre that will continue to inspire, educate and engage and bring the best productions in the country to Cornwall. The Growth Fund investment is further testimony to the confidence already shown in our ambitious plans”.
Sarah Newton, MP for Truro and Falmouth commented: “I am delighted that this project will now be going ahead. It will be a major boost to the Cornish economy and culture and I am proud that this Government, along with Arts Council England, Cornwall Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund, European Regional Development Funding (ERDF) and, most recently, the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) have been able to work together to bring much needed investment to Cornwall”.
Emmie Kell, Creative Industries lead on the LEP Board, said: “The creative economy is growing - it already employs 27,000 people in our region and we want to be the destination of choice for creative businesses. The LEP’s investment supports that ambition and fuses artistic heritage with a fast-growing tech sector so we can hothouse new businesses and quality jobs.”
Cornwall Council’s Portfolio Holder for Economy and Culture, Bob Egerton said; “The Creative Industries are now worth over £90bn to the UK and this growth is reflected in the Cornish economy, with the number of creative businesses increasing by 26% between 2011 and 2016. The redevelopment of HFC will create a cluster of start-up businesses that will nurture creative and entrepreneurial talent and, most importantly, retain it in Cornwall.”
As well as creating jobs and boosting Cornwall’s cultural offering, HFCs rebuild will conserve and reinvigorate Christopher Eales’ 1846 Grade II* building’s Boscawen Street and Lemon Quay public spaces that envelop the central auditorium. With Heritage Lottery Funding support, City Hall will be restored to its rightful place at the centre of civic, cultural and economic life.
Phil Gibby, Area Director, South West, Arts Council England, said; “We’re thrilled that Hall For Cornwall has been successful in their Growth Fund bid. This investment builds on an award of £5 million that we made to them last year through our National Lottery-funded Capital programme to redevelop the theatre making it more accessible, more resilient and more sustainable, and completes their goal of securing public funding. The combination of these investments will facilitate the transformation of the venue, which plays an increasingly important role in the region, meaning more people from across Cornwall and the South West can enjoy the benefits of arts and culture and further establishing the theatre as a centre for Cornwall’s burgeoning cultural economy.”
Work to rebuild HFC will begin in July 2018 with the new building being unveiled 2020. During construction, HFC will host a series of open days to welcome the community to view the build’s progression.
In addition, HFCs outreach work will be developed. Julien Boast commented; “We have a proud history of community and school engagement and creative and talent development from Launceston to the Lizard. Proposed new facilities and additional investment mean we can do much more of this in the future and we will be building an outreach programme during closure”.
He further comments: “Over the last five years and as part of the development process, we have worked closely with our partners at Truro City Council to help us consult widely on plans for the new building. We were delighted that over a thousand people fed their ideas and views in to the new design. With this level of commitment and interest we are confident we have developed an ambitious proposal that the community will be proud of in the years to come.’
Cllr. John Tamblyn, Mayor of Truro, said ‘This exciting project provides a great boost for Truro and will lead the way in terms of our own city centre regeneration plans. Thriving cities need a vibrant cultural scene to attract residents, tourists and businesses, and we think Hall For Cornwall’s plans deliver this for Truro”.
Hall For Cornwall’s final performance will be 2 June with Cornwall’s prestigious, The People’s String Foundation Orchestra.