Transformation Tour

The transformation programme which is planned to commence in 2018 will bring back to life an iconic building with a sympathetic modern touch. In doing so it will deliver a venue fit for a leading European, national and regional centre for the performing arts. It will include:

  • remodelling the existing main auditorium, with major changes to the stage and equipping it with international standards of acoustics, comfort and flexibility
  • redeveloping the second hall, known as The Lantern, into an elegant and versatile performance venue
  • the introduction of flexible seating technology which will enable the venue to be used for a variety of purposes – from a range of performances covering the arts spectrum to festivals, corporate events and graduations
  • opening up the cellars, which are underneath the auditorium, for the first time in 100 years to provide educational workshops, workspace for performing arts business enterprises and a cabaret style performance area
  • restoring the historic core of the building and the Colston Street frontage to its Victorian magnificence
  • bringing back the historic colonnade to its former glory.

Colston Hall

The designs show the main hall with a new, larger and more flexible stage; new canopy and fore-stage lift; new balconies replacing the single deeply overhanging balcony; new seats and ceiling shape; new wall finishes and interior with a modern look and variable acoustics; and, unusually, the original Victorian windows brought back into use.

The Lantern

Audiences will step from the new foyer into a modern reworking of the historic spaces of the Victorian hall.


Our unique and highly atmospheric cellars were used throughout the 19th century as Bristol’s original customs warehouse. These  will be converted for intimate club-type events, teaching facilities, creative workshop space and studios, enabling the first public access for a hundred years.