Project information

Hall for Cornwall Capital Re-Development

HFC’s vision is that by 2026 we will be a significant leader in the staging and production of performing arts, inspiring and delighting generations to come. Integral to achieving this is to address the limitations of our Grade II* listed home, realising the venue’s full potential.

June 2018 - June 2020

Charity information: The Hall For Cornwall Trust

The Hall For Cornwall Trust logo
  • Need


    The original 1997 development was essentially the first phase of bringing an underused and neglected building back to life as a theatre and community building. The project was achieved over a short period with limited funding, which led to inevitable compromises. One of the key issues is a confused front entrance. This second phase of development will address issues of accessibility, beginning with a new public façade on the historic Boscawen Street.


    The historic Boscawen Street side of the building will be reinstated as a welcoming front entrance and foyer, restoring unrealised design features of the architect Christopher Eales such as the vaulted ceilings. This area will become a major public destination with a new theatre café and bar. Developing the public façade will enhance the entrance visibility, and rudimental access issues for the less able bodied will be significantly improved.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Creating clarity around location of the theatre’s main entrance.


    » The redesigned Boscawen façade will re-enforce the theatre’s position on the high street leaving no doubt as to where the main entrance is.

    What success will look like

    We will seek public feedback and monitor traffic flow through the building to assess whether we have been successful improving navigation and orientation.

    Aim 2

    Restore unrealised design features of the original architect, Christopher Eales.


    » Working with Historic England, architects Burrell Foley Fischer and Heritage Lottery, original design features will be highlighted and celebrated.

    What success will look like

    The building’s original design features will be clearly identified, and there will be public engagement in interpretation activity around the building’s history.

    Aim 3

    Creation of a new café and bar area in the Boscawen entrance.


    » Transform the Boscawen foyer into an attractive destination for theatre goers and visitors alike to stop for drinks or a light bite to eat.

    What success will look like

    The café and bar will be well-used, with income contributing to self-sustainability and visitor feedback indicating the experience has improved.

    Aim 4

    Creating better access for the less able bodied.


    » The Boscawen entrance will be fully accessible, with gentle slopes replacing current stairs.

    What success will look like

    Positive feedback from disability groups and monitoring any increased uptake of tickets and use of the building by those with mobility issues.

  • Impact


    The restored Boscawen entrance will generate interest in the fascinating history of this grade II* building, realising its civic role and igniting public pride. Combined with the QuayWorks programme supporting creative industries, also part of our overall re-development, the restored foyer will be used by businesses and local communities alike – 200k footfall a year. The café and bar will help contribute to our long-term goal of becoming increasingly self-sufficient, as public funding declines.


    Risk factors include inability to reach funding targets, project overspend/overrun and inability to meet the needs required of the re-developed Boscawen entrance. Our rigorous risk register means we are aware of, and constantly reviewing these issues to ensure appropriate mitigation is in place. This includes ensuring there is appropriate and relevant expertise on the project delivery team, who have a clear and supported strategy and contingency.


    Donors will receive regular updates on progress with the re-development and expected re-launch date. This will include e-newsletters, events and the opportunity to see the impact of their donation with visits to the building.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £2,820,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £1,240,000 Construction Works Construction costs for the Boscawen entrance
      £190,000 Siteworks Siteworks, drainage and incoming services
      £200,000 Preliminaries Enabling main works, craneage and scaffold
      £100,000 Contractors Contractors overhead and profit
      £105,000 Inflation Inflation
      £285,000 Contingency Contingency
      £700,000 Professional fees Professional and specialist fees

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Public sector funding confirmed so far (as a percentage of total capital costs) £2,000,000 Conditional
  • Background


    Cornwall is at the most southerly tip of Great Britain. It has a sparse, rurally located population. Official measures of deprivation and poverty from 2010 show that 44 of Cornwall’s neighbourhoods are listed in the most deprived 20% in England, and 41% of children live below the poverty line. HfC is the only large scale professional theatre in Cornwall. The Minack, which has no roof, was the biggest venue to see theatre in the region before HfC was built in 1997.


    Audiences in Cornwall and the South West will benefit from a re-developed Boscawen entrance with better navigation and improved access. They will be able to enjoy discovering the building’s fascinating history with original architectural features unveiled and through interpretation material. Local businesses will also benefit from a boost to the night time economy. Our intention is to grow the number of people engaging with HFC by 45% post completion of the capital project.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    As an educational charity charged with managing the building as a theatre for the last 20 years, the HfC Trust is best placed to carry out this project. The Trust successfully delivered ‘stage one’ of the project, transforming the old City Hall into a functioning professional theatre. Experience and expertise on the team alongside the work of heritage specialists, means we are clear about the need for this next phase of work and how it will be delivered.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Board Of Trustees

    The Board has ultimate responsibility for ensuring the project is properly managed, risks are mitigated and investment is correctly used.

    Architects And Design Team

    The architects, along with a specialist design team, will ensure the Boscawen entrance meets access, orientation and heritage specifications.

    Hall For Cornwall Staff

    Experience and expertise among staff including fundraising, communications, heritage and venue management will inform and guide the project.

    The People Of Cornwall

    As a community facility, local people will play the main role in the population and use of the re-developed Boscawen entrance.