RNCM Awarded £2.8m to Transform Facilities

The RNCM has been allocated £2.8 million by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to significantly transform its teaching, learning and performance facilities.

The grant, from HEFCE’s Catalyst Fund, will substantially aid a major £7.1 million project established by the Manchester-based College to further enhance the student experience and broaden its artistic offering.

Commencing in January 2014, the eight month scheme will involve the reconfiguration of old, and creation of new, spaces to accommodate the diverse teaching, study, rehearsal and performance activities that are demanded in the 21st century. Incorporated in the plans is a complete redevelopment of the RNCM Concert Hall, now 40 years old, to include a new air-conditioning and heating system, new flooring and seating, advanced technical facilities and lighting, in addition to a balcony and raised floor area to considerably increase capacity. The backstage production areas of both the Concert Hall and RNCM Theatre will also be reconfigured to support increased student numbers and provide a professional learning environment at industry standard.

Professor Linda Merrick, RNCM Principal, said: ‘We are delighted to receive this funding from HEFCE’s Catalyst Fund, which will prove invaluable as the College looks to further improve its teaching and performance spaces. The RNCM prides itself on offering the very best facilities, not only to aspiring young musicians from all over the world, but also to audiences who recognise the significant position the College holds as one of the UK’s busiest and most diverse public performance venues.’

Established in 1973, the RNCM is a world-leading conservatoire, providing exceptional specialised teaching in music. With a performance programme offering in excess of 450 public concerts and events each year, it is also a thriving arts centre, recently recognised as the busiest performance venue in the North West and seventh busiest in the UK. The funding from HEFCE is vital to ensuring the College is able to undertake these significant changes and maintain its worldwide reputation and unique position in the North of England.

Chris Millward, Associate Director at HEFCE, said ‘We are delighted to support this step change in the RNCM’s development, which will enhance both the student experience at the College and its broader contribution to the vibrant creative and cultural economy in the North West’.

9 September 2013