Curtain Up on £12.2 million Grand Opera House Restoration
The £12.2 million restoration and development of the Grand Opera House in Belfast has been completed, allowing the Grand Opera House Trust and its Chief Executive to plan for its full reopening in line with the recovery from the covid-19 pandemic. The results of the restoration project were unveiled to key stakeholders and media recently, and the Theatre will reopen to the public with bookable Theatre Tours in July.
The design of the foyer and public spaces has been totally reimagined, with a new bar installed in the restored 1980 glass extension overhanging Great Victoria Street, as well as beautifully refurbished stalls and circle bars. As part of the project, the Theatre’s technical infrastructure has been upgraded and a permanent heritage exhibition installed telling the fascinating story of the Theatre’s 125-year history. Facilities for those customers with access needs have also been greatly enhanced throughout.
The project was delivered by Tracey Brothers Ltd, and more than 60 sub-contractors. John Tracey, Director of Tracey Brothers, said: “The project was unusual as it was made up of two separate sites. The focus of the work was the extensive restoration of the 1895 listed building and the installation of state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems to meet modern-day theatregoer expectations. Alongside this was the reimagination of the 2006 extension to make it more sympathetic to the Matcham building, complete with a stunning helical staircase, enhanced bar and hospitality facilities, and the installation of new interpretative spaces telling the story of the Grand Opera House.”