Norwich city centre venue The Halls, will be getting a much-needed refurbishment this year, thanks to funding secured by the city council.
St Andrews and Blackfriars Hall, collectively known as The Halls and run by Norwich City Council, will have new tiered seating as well as replacement floor seating and new screening curtains, paid for by the Town Fund and council’s capital programme
Councillor Alan Waters, leader of the city council, said:
“The seating and curtains will be fantastic new additions to The Halls and really help to smarten and modernise this beautiful venue.
“The seating especially will provide a better customer experience as well as reduce the time it takes to set up for events.
“This is just one of many projects that will be paid for by the Town Fund to enhance the creativity, liveability, connectivity, accessibility and inclusivity of the city centre.”
The main and best known of the spaces within The Halls – St Andrew’s Hall – is the focus of this project where the furniture is no longer fit for purpose and extremely dated. The last major refurbishment was carried out in the 1980s, although maintenance and replacement of some seating has happened since then.
As well as looking a lot smarter, the new retractable seating system will not be fixed in place like the current setup and is able to move back and forth to different locations within the hall and also allow us to open up a smaller section of the seating.
This will enable the hall to be more flexible and enable more intimate events in the space.
St Andrew’s Hall is a multi-functional space, ideal for concerts and large events, and can host around 800 people seated.
This project, including additional lighting, will cost £280,000 and will be part funded by the Town Fund, which was recently awarded to Norwich City Council from the government for economic development following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The seating replacement is part of a wider project to make improvements to the venue to create a more flexible, creative and digital space. The plans for these additional improvements are currently in the very early stages of development.
The Halls has been closed to the public on and off since March last year and has been used mainly as a key venue in our fight against the pandemic. The Norwich Community Response hub was based at the Halls for council employees to coordinate the emergency Covid-19 response. This included organising collections of food and medicine for some of the most vulnerable residents of Norwich.
The contract for the seating and curtain refurbishment work was awarded to Hussey Seatway Ltd at the city council’s cabinet meeting on Wednesday 10 March.
The Halls staff are very much looking forward to inviting everyone back safely later in the year for events such as concerts, markets, conferences and weddings in St Andrew’s Hall, Blackfriars’ Hall, The Crypt and Becket’s Chapel.
For more information, visit The Halls website.