A new era has dawned at Nottingham’s historic Malt Cross, as the venue reopens its doors following a £1.7m expansion.
The former music hall on St James’s Street in the city centre has been closed since May, with builders embarking on a major construction project to transform two basement levels and a 13th century cave into a new heritage, music, arts and crafts hub. The new facility includes a brand new music studio, as well as an exhibition space, which will be known as the Henderson Gallery, named after influential Malt Cross trustee David Henderson.
Visitors will also see that the familiar café bar area has been restored to its former glory, with a new lounge area, refurbished stage and pavement lights in the bar floor.
Commenting on the reopening, Jo Cox-Brown, chief executive of the Malt Cross Trust, said:
“The past few months have been quite an adventure, but it’s great to be home.
“The building work has uncovered secret passages, hidden rooms and a number of historic artefacts, teaching us even more about this truly fascinating building. Of course, the end result is a fantastic new facility for the people of Nottingham.
“The project has created 16 new jobs, including apprenticeships and an internship and 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, we want to 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 in Victorian Nottingham.
“The rehearsal space created by the building work will allow us, and our creative partners, to work with emerging talent to build their confidence and skills, and ultimately, prepare them to make the move to our main stage as a resident act.”
Coinciding with the reopening, the Malt Cross has also announced the launch of a pop-up Victorian style Christmas gift shop from Handmade Nottingham (http://handmadenottingham.tictail.com/). Opening on Saturday 1 November it will sell a range of locally made handmade Christmas gifts and decorations in the run up to the festive season.
“We’re back with a bang,” concluded Jo. “There are still plenty more surprises to come and, in the next few weeks, we’ll be unveiling our brand new events programme, as well as our innovative new food offering.
“We can’t wait to welcome back our loyal customers, as well as new visitors. Plenty has changed but our good old fashioned values and warm welcome are still the same.”
For more information on the Malt Cross and the renovation, visit www.maltcross.com .