Engineering group finds room in Colston Hall’s cellars to boost its support for Bristol’s musical talent

Global engineering technology firm Renishaw has strengthened its support for Bristol’s iconic music venue Colston Hall by agreeing to sponsor a room in its new education suite.

The room, which has not yet been named, will be created in the venue’s unused Victorian cellars as part of the £48.8m transformation of the building.

The room will be used for a broad base of music and science, technology, engineering, arts and maths (STEAM) education, engaging with local school children to develop skills and get them excited about music and STEAM.

Wotton-under-Edge-based Renishaw has been involved with Bristol Music Trust, which runs Colston Hall, for several years as a corporate sponsor and backer of new music in The Lantern, the building’s smaller performance space in the oldest part of the building that stages a broad, cutting-edge music programme.

It also funds the Beat Lab, a programme that educates an estimated 800 pupils a year in Bristol schools by giving them a variety of music-tech experiences centred on engineering.

These projects and others supported by Renishaw back up its standing as a world-leading engineering technologies company supplying products used for applications as diverse as jet engine and wind turbine manufacture, through to dentistry and brain surgery.

The new room will be part of Colston Hall’s new state-of-the-art education suite in the historic cellars, which are being opened up for the first time in 100 years.

The suite will include practice rooms, social space and a recording studio and will also house the first National Centre for Inclusive Excellence for young musicians with Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEN/D).

Renishaw head of communications Chris Pockett said: “Colston Hall is an iconic and much-loved venue within the wider Bristol region.

“The venue helps to enrich Renishaw’s local community, where many of its employees live. The Bristol Music Trust provides culture and educational opportunity to the area, making the city an attractive place to live and work, benefitting our current employees and helping us attract talent for the future.”

Trust chief executive Louise Mitchell added: “This inspiring transformation relies on the support of local businesses.

“The project will create one of the best arts and learning facilities in the country, benefitting young people and adults in Bristol and beyond. Renishaw understands the importance of developing the skills and interests of young people, a vision which is at the heart of the Trust.”

The Transform the Hall campaign is the biggest-ever capital project to occur in Bristol’s arts sector. Renishaw was the first corporate partner to sign up to support the project, by backing the new music education facility.  Some £42m has raised so far.

Renishaw employs more than 4,000 employees in the 35 countries where it has wholly owned subsidiary operations. Throughout its history it has made a significant commitment to research and development, with historically between 14 and 18% of annual sales invested in R&D and engineering. The majority of its R&D and manufacturing is carried out in the UK.

The company’s success has been recognised with numerous international awards, including 18 Queen’s Awards for achievements in technology, export and innovation.

Pictured in the Colston Hall cellars, from left: Colston Hall special projects director Sarah Robertson, Renishaw education outreach officer Rebecca Bound, and Renishaw head of communications Chris Pockett


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