CBSO rehearsal space to be transformed

The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra’s rehearsal space is to undergo a major upgrade next year.

Set in Birmingham’s cultural quarter, the CBSO Centre has been awarded GBP1.4m (€1.7m) by Arts Council England and the Garfield Weston Foundation to improve facilities for both performers and audiences.

The planned development will include an upgrade of the performance facilities to state-of-the-art acoustics, new seating and lighting, and a transformation of the public open space.

As well as being the rehearsal venue for the CBSO, its four choruses and the CBSO Youth Orchestra, the CBSO Centre also hosts small-scale performances and educational projects.

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.’

The announcement is the result of a successful Stage 2 Capital Funding bid to Arts Council England (amounting to GBP1.2m) and a grant from the Garfield Weston Foundation, which provides support for charitable organisations across the UK.