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£700k grant not enough to save Wilton Music Hall

Wilton's Music Hall is one of the few surviving Grand Music halls in the world pic: Habier Lopez

Wilton’s Music Hall, one of the oldest surviving music halls in the world, has received a £700,000 funding boost from independent trust SITA in order to protect and conserve the historic building. But further funds of over £2 million are still needed to protect the building from closure.Thanks to the grant, necessary works on the auditorium roof, basement, soundproofing, ventilation and electrics can be carried out.

Frances Mayhew, the Wilton Hall Artistic Director, said: “Wilton’s is such an extraordinary heritage building and, a thriving cultural centre for now, that simply has to be saved.”

EastLondonLines reported last year on a public appeal for the restoration of the hall after two failed lottery bids. However, further vital funds are still needed to fully restore the Grade-II listed hall. Mayhew is urging the local community to come forward to help raise another £2.2 million, which will restore the terrace house areas at the front of the building.

David Suchet, Patron of Wilton’s Capital Project, which fronts the restoration scheme, said: “I am so looking forward to this building work starting, hopefully as early as June, knowing that Wilton’s is at the start of being saved once and for all.”

Jools Granville of SITA Trust hopes that their contribution will encourage other funders to come forward. The project will go some way towards removing Wilton’s Hall from the ‘Heritage at Risk’ register.

The historic Wilton’s Music Hall opened in 1858 in Grace’s Alley, off Cable Street. Now used more generally as a performance space, the Hall presents a range or artistic events including theatre, music, comedy, cinema and cabaret with the help of donations, funds and support from local people.

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