An important East Lothian hall is currently undergoing an extensive refurbishment project in order to transform it into a multipurpose performance space.
Brunton Hall was originally opened in 1971 by Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. Designed by Rowand Anderson, Kininmonth and Paul, the building is an excellent example of late 1960s architecture. The three-storey development currently has a range of facilities, including a large first-floor hall (636m²), a theatre, council offices and a restaurant.
In April 2011, an exciting refurbishment programme began. Headed by main contractor AKP Scotland Ltd, the project has included the complete internal fit-out of the hall to create a multipurpose performance space with retractable seating for 533 people.
In order to accommodate the new performance space, a new technical access ceiling has been installed, along with a state-of-the-art control box and a sophisticated air handling plant.
Further modifications include the creation of a mezzanine gallery to house back stage facilities including dressing rooms, equipment stores, stage management office, showers and toilets. Additional facilities include a kitchen and bar area, whilst two new lift towers have been constructed for improved passenger access and the delivery of goods.
Acoustic wall panelling that has incorporated artist designs has been installed, along with state-of-the-art lighting and sound facilities.
Throughout the project PK Joiner & Building Contractor Ltd is also executing a full joinery package, which includes technical walkways, acoustic boxes and doors.
Patrick Herraghty, Architectural & Surveying Team Leader for East Lothian Council, said:
“Although challenges have arisen from working within an existing building, the project is progressing well. We are excited to deliver the new performance space, which will provide a state-of-the-art combined arts venue for Musselburgh and East Lothian.”
The new hall will now be suitable for a range of purposes, from standing events and conferences to trade events, community activities, catered functions, cinema and concerts. It is hoped that the hall will attract a wide range of people and encourage community involvement and celebration.
Councillor Roger Knox commented:
“As chairman of the Brunton Theatre Trust, I see this as a huge opportunity for Musselburgh and the whole of East Lothian.”