BRADFORD Council has been given £1.5 million towards the restoration of St George's Hall, it has been announced today.

Heritage Lottery has awarded the money and the local authority, which runs the 1850s building, has also committed £2.5m to the restoration project, which means the famous venue will close from the end of this month for a year.

The project will include restoring the listed building's sandstone exterior, as well as a redesign of the front-of-house and bar areas, removing partitions added in the 1980s.


Other major changes include glazing the colonnade on Bridge Street to provide a new draft lobby and reinstating three original entrance doors from Hall Ings, as well as the addition of a new lift.

The local authority and Bradford Theatres were notified today that they will be awarded £1.5m from the Heritage Lottery Fund to enable the significant improvements to be made to the building. The bid was made in 2014.

Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, the Council's executive member for culture, said: "We’re delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us this support. We've worked hard with

them to demonstrate that this funding is needed to make St George’s Hall a success. It’s great news that this historic venue is getting the investment it needs to maintain its position as a key heritage

building and international venue."

Fiona Spiers, head of Heritage Lottery Fund Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “This is great news for Bradford. We’re delighted that, thanks to National Lottery players, we’ve been able to support this much-loved venue, building on the success of over £40m of Heritage Lottery Fund investment in Bradford. We’re very pleased that more people will be able to enjoy one of the oldest operating concert halls in the UK, as well as learning more about its fascinating history.”

Phil Barker, the Council's assistant director for sport and culture, added: “It is a significant result to have been awarded this sum from the Heritage Lottery Fund, recognising the cultural and historic importance of St George's Hall. We now begin an extremely exciting period of refurbishment and development which will result in a much improved venue re-opening next year.”

The project will also make archive materials about the history of the hall more accessible and develop stronger links with the local community through an outreach and access programme.

A permanent archive will go on display, highlighting key events from the official opening in 1853 to the big rock and roll band concerts of the 1970s and 1980s. Past appearances have included famous names such as Charles Dickens, Harold Houdini, Dr Livingstone, Sir Edward Elgar, Queen, David Bowie and Motorhead.

Also announced today was initial support for a £1.7m award to Keighley Bus Museum Trust for a project to establish a transport museum, and secure the long-term future of the unique exhibits and collections.