Southbank Centre to unveil redevelopment plans

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The Southbank Centre will unveil multi-million pound plans to transform its London HQ next month.

Plans for an overhaul of its Festival Wing, which includes the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and Hayward Gallery complex, will be exhibited to the public from March 7 in an exhibition at the Royal Festival Hall.

The proposals are currently being drawn up by architect Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, who were appointed last year. As well as refurbishing the Festival Wing, the plans will also aim to reclaim unused and underused space around the complex.

Alan Bishop, chief executive of Southbank Centre, said: “I am delighted to announce that Southbank Centre is launching a project to transform the Festival Wing and look forward to sharing the plans next month. Building on the Rick Mather masterplan [the plans published in 2000 for the overhaul of the whole Southbank Centre complex], this will be the next stage of the refurbishment of Southbank Centre, following the hugely successful transformation of the Royal Festival Hall. I’d like to thank Arts Council England, who has enabled us to launch this project, following the successful first-stage application for £20 million of capital funding in March 2012.”

Artistic director Jude Kelly added: “Our vision is to make the most of these extraordinary buildings and the spaces around them so that we can provide more art for more people of all ages and create world-class facilities for artists and visitors to enjoy, fit for the 21st century. We will draw on the continued success of our year-round festival programme and the original spirit of the Festival of Britain to transform this part of the site.”

A final estimated cost for the project has not yet been announced, but it is understood to be in excess of the £43 million that an earlier proposed scheme was due to cost.

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