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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 April, 2004, 16:43 GMT 17:43 UK
Arts venue unveils 90m revamp
Royal Festival Hall
The Royal Festival Hall will be given a whole new look
Plans for a 90m refurbishment of London's Royal Festival Hall have been unveiled, with the news that 73m of the total sum has been raised so far.

The total has been boosted by a 5m donation from the Clore Duffield Foundation, headed by Selfridges heiress Dame Vivien Duffield.

South Bank Board chairman Lord Hollick said the donation was a "major boost" to the fundraising campaign.

Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund have also made donations.

The Arts Council have given 25m to the project, while Heritage Lottery's donation is 20m.

'World class'

A further 9m has been raised from trusts and private donors, while over 12,000 audience members have given 1m towards the project.

Lord Hollick expressed his gratitude to all those who had made donations so far and promised to turn the Royal Festival Hall into a "world class venue" for the capital.

"We will create a place that London will be proud of for many years to come," he said.

Of the 90m needed for the project, 71m will be spent on refurbishing the Royal Festival Hall, while 19m would be used to create a new Royal Festival Hall extension building and improving the area around the venue.

The improvements to the building will include increased leg room, disabled access to all levels of the auditorium and improved acoustics and stage facilities, as well as improving the front.

The extension building and new front is expected to open in 2005, while work on the new foyer and auditorium is scheduled for completion in late 2006.

The BBC's David Sillito
"The decision to do something about the place was first made 16 years ago"

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