Opera North gets go-ahead for redevelopment

Opera North’s expansion plans have been approved by Leeds City Council. The national opera company will build a new education centre and improve its audience facilities.

The education centre will host its arts activities for children, young people and families. As for audience facilities, the company will build a bar and restaurant (renovating four empty shops in the process), open its own box office and improve lift access.

In total, the project will cost GBP18m (€19.9m), helping to redevelop the New Briggate area of Leeds.

“We believe the development will result in real enhancements to both the day and night-time economy and culture of New Briggate and the Grand Quarter and will act as a catalyst for further improvements in the surrounding public space,” said Richard Mantle, general Director of Opera North.

“I am delighted to say that we have already secured a significant level of funding from private and public sources, and this autumn will see the launch of a large-scale fundraising campaign, to raise the remaining funds needed to fully realise this GBP18 million project and deliver a vibrant cultural programme, placing music in the heart of Leeds.”