Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Wilton's Music Hall - development progress

It is good to see that the plans for the development and preservation of Wilton's Music Hall, in London's East End, are coming together at last. They started this summer, with their phase 1 development which encompassed major works to the roofs and basement, plus sound-proofing, ventilation and electrics. This has been funded by the Foundation for Sport and Arts along with numerous charitable trusts. The theatre has also received one of the first grants from the Theatres Trust's Theatres Protection Fund. They have now been awarded a first round Heritage Lottery Fund grant which will enable them to develop phase 2 of the development work.

The full Heritage Lottery Fund phase 2 application will be submitted in March 2013, and this covers the terrace of 5 Georgian houses which form the bar and front of house areas. When complete the derelict areas within the building will be opened up, and there will be rehearsal and studio spaces on the top floor. Total cost of phase 2 is £2.2 million.

Wilton's Music Hall consists of a Victorian music hall attached to a Georgian terrace of houses and a pub. Originally the pub had a concert-room attached but this was later developed into a new Music Hall in 1859. It was eventually bought by the East End Methodist Mission and was operated by them from 1888 to 1956, a fact which probably ensured the Music Hall's survival. It also survived the slum clearances, amazingly, is Listed and re-opened as a theatre and concert hall in 1997. But the state of the building has been a constant problem, romantic dereliction is hardly the way forward for a modern theatre. Before the development project started, 40% of the building was out of bounds and the building on the Buildings at Risk Register. So this project will enable them to set the venue on its feet.

There are a variety of events on at the site, including the intriguingly named Telemann's Gulliver's Travels, plus talks and history tours. Check out their website for details.


Elsewhere on this blog:

No comments:

Post a Comment