Bristol Beacon to unveil £132m transformation at reopening

Bristol Beacon Hall

After a five-year effort involving over a million work hours and tens of thousands of contributors, Bristol Beacon will unveil its £132m transformation this week.

The renovation of Bristol’s biggest venue has gone over budget  by almost £90m.

Described by Arts Council England, the venue now features four world-class performance spaces, hosting over 800 events annually and contributing an estimated £13m to the economy.

Unexpected challenges during construction included Elizabethan wells, a Victorian heating system, and hollow pillars. The diverse music program features international artists like Jools Holland and the London Symphony Orchestra.

This £132m transformation is made possible with support from funders and supporters, including Bristol City Council, Arts Council England, HM Government, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, and others.

Over 9,000 individuals have contributed to this redevelopment.

Louise Mitchell, chief executive, of Bristol Beacon, said: “The skill, hard work and love poured into this huge refurbishment has resulted in one of the best and most accessible performance and music education spaces in Europe. What excites all of us here is the potential of the new Bristol Beacon, which will allow us to continue delivering transformative musical moments to all Bristolians. From weekly one-to-one opportunities for care experienced young people, to sessions with those living with dementia, in hospitals, in community halls and in 92% of Bristol’s schools, for 7,000 hours of music lessons a week. It all comes back to this building – it is our engine, it is our home, it’s Bristol’s stage for everyone.”

Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said: “Delivering a world-class music and arts venue for Bristol signifies a major investment in our city’s artistic reputation and its cultural roots. The generosity of funders and donors, alongside our city’s major investment, has brought to life one of the finest music venues in Europe and an inclusive centre for community learning and education. It is thanks to the city’s significant investment that Bristol Beacon will create hundreds of jobs for residents and has the potential to generate £253.7 million for Bristol’s economy. To those who have contributed to this project in all shapes and forms, I thank you, and look forward to the Bristol Beacon thriving for many years to come as part of Bristol’s strong and diverse cultural sector.

“Bristol Beacon is not a two, three, or even five-year project. It is a 100-year legacy for Bristol; from the main stage to the cellars’ recording studio, it is a venue designed by the people of Bristol, for the future of Bristol.”

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