Manchester’s Hallé orchestra has received a major cash injection from the Victoria Wood Foundation to finish a new performance, rehearsal and education centre.
The gift completes the Hallé's fundraising to build a three-storey extension to Hallé St Peter's, a deconsecrated church. The building will be known as The Oglesby Centre, and will feature a new facade and facilities including a café and kitchen, new rehearsal space, workshops and practice rooms.
The largest hall will be named ‘The Victoria Wood Hall’ to commemorate the late comedian.
In 2011, Victoria Wood worked with the Hallé on the musical, That Day We Sang, returning in 2014 for the TV adaptation of the stage production.
The TV version featured the Hallé Children’s Choir and The Hallé orchestra. After this, Wood, who used to attend performances by the Hallé when she was a child, become the first patron of the Children’s Choir.
'Victoria particularly enjoyed working with the youth choirs', says Nigel Lilley, trustee of the Foundation. 'Rehearsing with them was undoubtedly one of the highlights of a project that was very close to Victoria’s heart.'
The new venue is expected to open in August 2019.