The Malt Cross Music Hall on St James’s Street has secured over £1.38 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

This is part of a £1.7m Heritage Outreach and Engagement Project to bring to life two unused floors and caves under the current Malt Cross, so that they can be used for heritage education, tourism, arts, crafts and music.

The Malt Cross is a local and national treasure, a unique Grade 2 listed building built in 1877. It is considered to be one of Nottingham’s hidden gems, whilst at the same time being one of the most recognisable landmarks of the city with its caves dating back to the 11th Century Carmelite monastery that once stood on the site. It is the only surviving saloon music hall still functioning outside of London.

The Heritage Lottery Fund provided the Malt Cross with a £96,000 development grant in 2011, and has now made a further investment of £1,385,400 which will allow three currently unused floors (including a cave) to be renovated and opened for public use.

It will create a multipurpose space that will host heritage learning and craft activities, music practice space and an art and exhibition gallery. The project will deliver a range of heritage activities for schools and the general public, including the creation of a website recording the heritage of the Malt Cross Music Hall and other Music Halls and their performers.

Working in partnership with creative arts organisations the project will deliver a range of heritage-based Music Hall performances and creative displays of archives, as well as intriguing interpretations of Music Hall life. The project will also focus on the role of the Malt Cross to Victorian Nottingham.

The project will preserve the integrity of the building by completing substantial conservation work, comprehensive maintenance and electrical works to make the whole building safe and better used.
Joanne Cox-Brown Chief Executive of the Malt Cross said:

“We are delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us this grant. The Malt Cross has been an important city landmark for over 136 years and this incredible funding will ensure that its history and heritage will be preserved for future generations. The restoration will help contribute to Nottingham in creative and inspiring ways. It will add a unique dimension to the important Heritage Tourist offering for the city.”

Welcoming the project, Vanessa Harbar, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund East Midlands added:

“This is a great project by the Malt Cross Trust that serves to uncover the fascinating history of the building, ensure its future and care and enable public access to the building from the top down to the sub-basement and cave level for the first time in a century.”

The project will start in January 2014, with working starting in April and finishing in September 2014.

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