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Arts Council England supports Music Works redevelopment

Funding of £499,999 has been awarded by Arts Council England to Opera North’s major capital redevelopment project during 2019-2020.

Given through the Small Capital Grants funding stream for National Portfolio Organisations, the support will allow us to improve our artistic and education facilities, make energy efficiencies, and develop digital technologies, as part of the Music Works project to transform our Leeds home.

1. Architect’s visualisation before Music Works commenced: The Opera North redeveloped estate, showing the Howard Assembly Room, new restaurant, box office and atrium on the left and the Howard Opera Centre on the right

The redevelopment will enable us to present more live music in the Howard Assembly Room, as well as creating new public spaces and an open, welcoming and sustainable building that is fully accessible at all levels.

The transformed Opera North estate will be environmentally efficient, including the installation of photovoltaic panels on the roof of the new Music Rehearsal Studio to generate electricity.

Arts Council England’s support will also enable a major digital transformation for the Company, with dedicated facilities for editing filmed content, enhanced projection equipment for satellite relay of live broadcasts, and an investment in digital infrastructure.

Richard Mantle, General Director, Opera North said:

“Opera North is delighted with the news that Arts Council England is supporting our Music Works redevelopment project. Music Works is about creating a building to make and experience music, but it’s also about creating thrilling, powerful performances and the opportunities for participation that will bring the new spaces to life for many years to come.

“This investment by Arts Council England is a significant vote of confidence in our plans for our Leeds base. It will enable us to ensure that our new buildings are both environmentally sustainable and fully accessible, and crucially, put in place the digital infrastructure to support a thriving, innovative cultural and educational programme.”

Sarah Maxfield, Area Director North, Arts Council England, said:

“The Arts Council’s Small Capital Grants help to ensure that organisations have the right buildings and equipment so that they can continue reaching new and broader audiences, to ensure that everyone is able to access arts and culture. I am proud to see that in this round of funding we have been able to give £3.6 million to support 11 organisations from across the North to achieve their ambitions to improve how they deliver arts and culture to our communities.”


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