Centre for Music can ‘inspire a generation’ of new musicians

Nicholas Kenyon (MD Barbican Centre), Catherine McGuinness (Chairman of the Policy & Resources Committee at the City of London Corp), Sharon Ament (Director, Museum of London), Lynne Williams (Principal, Guildhall School of Music & Drama) Sharon Ament (Director, Museum of London) and Kathryn McDowell (MD, London Symphony Orchestra) announce the launch of 'Culture Mile' at the Guildhall School's Milton Court in the City of London, on Thursday 20 July 2017. Photo by Mark Allan

The City of London has moved a step closer to creating a world-class performance and education venue in the heart of Culture Mile.

The Court of Common Council has approved the release of £2.49million to finance the next stage of development for the proposed £250m Centre for Music.

Cash will facilitate 12 months of further design development, while progressing fundraising, business modelling and capital funding plans.

Under current plans, the venue, designed by New York-based architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro, would be built on the site of the Museum of London, which will relocate to West Smithfield as part of grand plans to overhaul the Square Mile’s cultural offering.

In January 2017, the City Corporation approved £2.5m in funding to complete a detailed business case for the project, in order to establish its viability.

Catherine McGuinness, policy chair at the City Corporation, said the decision would build on the authority’s initial investment in what she called “ambitious and exciting” plans.

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She said: “The proposed Centre for Music would attract outstanding performers and diverse audiences, and it is my sincere hope that creative businesses, which contribute a huge amount to the UK’s economy, would be proud to engage with this landmark building.”

Sir Nicholas Kenyon, managing director of the Barbican Centre; Kathryn McDowell CBE, who is managing director of the London Symphony Orchestra; and Lynne Williams, principal of Guildhall School of Music & Drama – three of the other major players in the Culture Mile project, alongside the Museum of London – welcomed the announcement in a joint statement.

“We are delighted that the City of London Corporation has supported the next phase of the Centre for Music’s development, and we look forward to continuing work on this important project.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to inspire a new generation by transforming how music is experienced in the Capital.”

The City of London Corporation is the fourth largest funder of heritage and cultural activities in the UK and invests over £100m every year.

Culture Mile will stretch between Farringdon and Moorgate, and aims to create a new cultural and creative destination for London over the next 10 to 15 years.