Manchester’s Hallé Orchestra is delighted to announce an award of £702,000 from Viridor Credits Environmental Company, to support the redevelopment of St. Peter’s Church in Ancoats. The award was announced publicly at a special event today (Friday 14 October) in Taunton to commemorate the tenth anniversary of Viridor Credits.

News of the award came just days before the Hallé received confirmation of a grant of £150,000 from the Garfield Weston Foundation.

This means that work can begin on the transformation of St. Peter’s into a new rehearsal base for the Hallé, and a home for the Orchestra’s education and community programmes. The new facility, which will preserve the exterior of the building itself, will also act as a base for the Hallé Choir, Hallé Youth Orchestra, Youth Choir and Children’s Choir. The Hallé are being advised on the project by Manchester law firm George Davies.

The Hallé Choir was founded by Sir Charles Hallé (alongside the Orchestra) in 1858. St. Peter’s will offer, for the first time in the Choir’s history, the chance to have a permanent rehearsal venue. The three youth ensembles rank amongst the Hallé’s proudest achievements of recent years. They offer talented young people from Manchester and the North West the chance to develop their skills by working alongside professional musicians, conductors and choral directors.

John Summers, Chief Executive of the Hallé, said: “This is brilliant news, both for the Hallé and the sleeping beauty that is Ancoats. We are delighted to be able to focus our education and community work in an area which played such a central role in Manchester ’s emergence as a city of world significance. We are hugely grateful to both Viridor Credits and the Garfield Weston Foundation for giving us such an excellent start to our fundraising campaign.”

Lisa Nelson, general manager of Viridor Credits, said: “We were inundated with entries for our tenth Anniversary Commemorative Awards but the Hallé really stood out to us. Not only will it help to restore the impressive St. Peter’s Church for everyone to enjoy, but it will also help to provide valuable space for the prestigious Hallé Orchestra, helping to regenerate this area of Manchester .”

The former St. Peter’s Church is located in Ancoats, a part of Manchester that is widely regarded as the world’s first industrial suburb and an historic feature of the city’s heritage. The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) recently inherited the Ancoats Estate from the North West Regional Development Agency.

Deborah McLaughlin, Executive Director North West at the HCA said: “The proposed use of the building by the Hallé will no doubt provide a fantastic boost to footfall in Ancoats, in turn helping the wider regeneration of this important part of East Manchester."

Councillor Jim Battle, deputy leader of Manchester City Council, said: "The Hallé is very much in tune with our aspirations for the regeneration of East Manchester . The presence of such a world-renowned cultural institution in the heart of Ancoats, especially bringing this building back to life as the base for its community and education programmes, is brilliant news for the area and the city as a whole."

 

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