Colston Hall’s transformation campaign given huge boost by local donation of £500k

One of the largest individual donations ever to be made in Bristol has been awarded to Bristol Music Trust towards their £45 million transformation of Colston Hall. The £500,000 donation has been made by a local family trust.

Louise Mitchell, chief executive of Colston Hall, said: “We are grateful for this incredibly generous donation. It is real testament to what we are striving to achieve through our transformation. We want to reach every single child in Bristol, whatever their background, and redevelop the Hall into a National Centre for Music Entertainment, Education and Enterprise.”

The family trust have chosen to remain anonymous, but Phil Castang, head of Bristol Plays Music, the music education hub based at Colston Hall, says of their gift: “Providing access to and education in the arts is something we should be championing for all children and that is exactly what Colston Hall is setting out to do as part of its ambitious £45 million transformation. As the largest concert hall in the South West and a beloved 150 year old building, we must preserve and protect its future so that generations to come can continue to benefit from it for the next 150 years.”

Since the fundraising campaign was launched, £25 million has been pledged from Bristol City Council, the Government and Arts Council England. This donation is the first major sum to be announced from private sources.

“So far, our campaign has resulted in £25 million of support from public sources. Having this backing means that we can show confidence in the project and demonstrate its viability, which makes it easier to attract funding from the private sector. We will be launching further fundraising initiatives to help us reach the £45 million target,” said Louise Mitchell.

The transformation campaign was launched in September 2014 with the aim of redeveloping Colston Hall and ensuring it takes its place as one of the best arts and learning facilities in the country.

At the heart of the redevelopment plan are the core values of education, entertainment and enterprise. The redevelopment aims: to deliver an inclusive music education programme for Bristol and the South West; create a world class entertainment venue; and stimulate arts enterprise in the region, bringing £100 million to Bristol’s economy in the first five years following the transformation.

The supporters’ campaign, 45kfor45m, has so far seen over 15,000 members of the public sign up to back the redevelopment, including a whole host of performers and celebrities.