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July 14, 2009
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Refurbished flagship 1,200-seat venue re-opens in Coventry




Butterworth Hall, located in Coventry in the heart of England, is back in business following a 10-month refurbishment project costing £6.9 million.

Part of Warwick Arts Centre and run by Warwick Conferences, the 1,200-seat music and conference venue has been the hub of cultural activities in the Coventry and Warwickshire area for 27 years and has hosted many musical greats, including Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Lesley Garrett and Kirsty McColl.
 
However, to ensure that Warwick Conferences could continue to offer its clients a world-class auditorium and concert hall venue fit for the 21st century, the extension and redevelopment project (devised by Architects Design Partnership) has added a host of new features and improvements.
 
Among the enhancements are an improved main entrance, which contrasts with the solidity of the locally-sourced red sandstone of the building – inspired by local landmarks Kenilworth Castle and Sir Basil Spence’s Coventry Cathedral.
 
New seating, which is not only more comfortable but offers improved sightlines, combines with improved acoustics (designed by arts specialists and acoustic experts Acoustic Dimensions) and a new beech floor, that seamlessly links with the new beech stage, are also among the changes.
 
In addition to a new rehearsal room and dressing rooms for performers, the new main stage on which they will perform now incorporates four motorised elevators, which can be used to set the level stage apart from the auditorium floor up to a height of 1,400mm.
 
However, perhaps the most dramatic of all of the improvements is the open roof space, which is equipped with special new lighting that can create a range of effects that emphasise the scale of the landmark venue.
 
Funding of the redevelopment project was raised in part by The University of Warwick, through the assistance of a number of major trusts and foundations – which contributed around £5.65 million. The remaining £1.25 million of the £6.9 million project came from a public fundraising campaign launched by the singer Lesley Garrett.
 
Commenting on the re-opening, Rachael Bartlett, head of sales and marketing at Warwick Conferences, said: “Butterworth Hall has developed a phenomenal reputation within the music and conference world over the years, and this significant investment guarantees our clients access to a truly world-class venue for the many years to come.
 
“Since the redevelopment project began in August 2008, we’ve been inundated with enquiries about Butterworth Hall’s enhanced facilities and are looking forward to welcoming those who have already made bookings to this spectacular venue.”
 
Butterworth Hall is now available for bookings, but a formal launch to mark its transformation will take place on 7 October, when it will play host to a gala concert from the Philharmonic Orchestra.

For further details, please visit www.warwickartscentre.co.uk


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