The c.£50 million transformation will enable us to remodel and upgrade Bristol Beacon, making it one of the most comprehensive and attractive facilities in the UK. You can see the details of what exactly that will look like in our What we are Building section.
Bristol Beacon is home to Bristol Plays Music – the music education hub in Bristol. The transformation programme will not only see the physical redevelopment of the venue, it will also enable Bristol Plays Music to transform its current offering and develop a focused education programme that improves accessibility and diversity in music education.
Bristol Plays Music is already delivering music education to 30,000 children and 130 schools in the area every year, and is aiming through the transformation to make Bristol the ‘UK Capital of Young People’s Music’, giving every young person in the city access to an imaginative, inclusive and all round high quality music education.
Bristol Plays Music plans to use its education programme as a benchmark for other music hubs, contributing to greater inclusion and equality of access to music education across the country.
The transformation will also facilitate enterprise within the arts sector, through the development of a physical base at the venue offering professional support for commercial arts start-ups, and by focussing its educational offering on preparing young people for professional careers in music.
“At Youth Music, we are all about addressing inequality and unfairness to make sure young people with huge potential but facing considerable barriers get the chance to regularly make music. That’s our thing, that’s what we do and Bristol Plays Music is a really great example of that.”
Matt Griffiths, CEO, Youth Music
Currently, the venue’s spaces are not fit for purpose – for audiences or performers – and educational facilities are inaccessible. The transformed venue will have fully accessible spaces for people with disabilities and we are aiming for a Gold charter mark standard of accessibility from Attitude Is Everything.
The transformation will also enable Bristol Beacon to become a national centre of excellence for working with children with Special Education needs and disabilities, providing music education to those in the most challenging circumstances. Find out more in the National Centre for Inclusive Excellence section.
Bristol Beacon has secured a reputation for its programme of performances featuring some of the most significant artists of the last 150 years.
The transformation will create international standard facilities, allowing us to attract the very best performers in the future. It will bring significantly enhanced acoustics, technical facilities and audience experience.
The transformed venue will reinforce the UK’s position as an international capital of music; regionally it will form a key part of the South West’s cultural fabric.
On Wednesday 23 September 2020 Colston Hall changed its name to Bristol Beacon.
Our new name is just the first step, it is about more than the sign above our door. Click below to find out more about how we’re changing, watch our name announcement, and discover how we want everyone to share in the joy of live music.