Colston Hall becomes first concert hall in UK to announce carbon neutral ambition

colston hall becomes first concert hall in uk to announce carbon neutral ambition - Colston Hall becomes first concert hall in UK to announce carbon neutral ambition

Colston Hall has today become the first concert hall in the UK to reveal its intention to become carbon neutral, amid the current climate emergency.

Bristol Music Trust, the charity which runs the venue, said it wants to achieve this goal by 2030 and will have a detailed delivery plan finished by autumn 2020.

The historic venue is undergoing a major £50m transformation which will leave it with a new look and name when it reopens, creating one of the best arts and learning facilities in the country.

Co-founder of Pukka Herbs Tim Westwell has been appointed as a new trustee of the Trust, bringing with him his vast experience of environmentally-conscious leadership in business.

colston hall becomes first concert hall in uk to announce carbon neutral ambition 1 - Colston Hall becomes first concert hall in UK to announce carbon neutral ambition

This is how Colston Hall’s main auditorium will look after work is completed (Image: Copyright Unknown)

At the Bristol-based business, Tim has developed a culture which protects the environment while delivering a successful business operation.

He will offer motivation and leadership to Bristol Music Trust as it heads towards carbon neutrality, applying his pioneering approach to its developing sustainable business practices.

 

Building contractors Willmott Dixon will also play a vital part in achieving the goal, as they have been carbon neutral since 2012 and were the first in the construction industry to do so.

Colston Hall will be following in the footsteps of and taking advice from Sydney Opera House, which achieved carbon neutral status five years ahead of its target in 2018.

colston hall becomes first concert hall in uk to announce carbon neutral ambition 2 - Colston Hall becomes first concert hall in UK to announce carbon neutral ambition

A CGI of how the hall will look when work is complete (Image: Copyright Unknown)

How does Colston Hall plan to do it?

Bristol Music Trust will use the best part of a year to finalise its carbon neutral plan, focusing on some of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals as a blueprint.

There will be a focus on energy consumption to increase the use of renewables throughout the building and the Trust will build new sustainable features during the transformation.

Photovoltaic panels will be added to the roof of the main Hall which will generate approximately 26,000kws of energy per year – making a saving of 11 tonnes of Co2 against current energy usage. These will join the solar panels which heat the majority of the Hall’s water.

 

The transformed Hall will be updated with new control technology to plan energy use and prevent any waste, while energy saving LED lighting will be installed throughout the building.

An emphasis on waste management will further the Hall’s current work to recycle all bottles, paper and cardboard and incinerate all non-recyclable waste to turn it into energy.

Ambitions include removing all single use plastic and working with partners to turn food waste into energy.

The team behind the venue plan to use it as a ‘vehicle of change’ by changing mindsets and reducing the environmental footprint of the arts and culture sector.

colston hall becomes first concert hall in uk to announce carbon neutral ambition 3 - Colston Hall becomes first concert hall in UK to announce carbon neutral ambition

Louise Mitchell, CEO of Bristol Music Trust, with Will Scriven, Project Manager at DSM Demolition (Image: James Beck/Freelance)

Environmental and sustainability will take ‘centre stage’

Louise Mitchell, chief executive of Bristol Music Trust, said: “At this stage in our transformation we are in a prime position to put environmental and sustainability targets centre stage.

“Our target is ambitious but absolutely realistic based on how we, as an organisation and our key partners, are embracing sustainability.

 

“We have been at the heart of Bristol’s arts and culture scene for over 150 years and we take our commitment to the Bristol community and our role in the city very seriously.

“This extends beyond the delivery of our performance and education programmes with our responsibility to make a difference and lead the way in how our sector can reduce our environmental impact.”

More information about the transformation can be found on Colston Hall’s website.

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