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Work begins on £8.2 million music centre

Sod-turning of new UKC centre
Sod-turning of new UKC centre

by Sian Napier

An exciting project to build an £8.2 million music centre on Kent University’s Canterbury campus took a step forward on Monday when contractors moved on site.

This followed Friday’s turf-turning when the university’s director of music, Susan Wanless, and Jonathan Monkton, chairman of the Colyer-Fergusson Charitable Trust, dug the ceremonial first hole.

The Colyer-Fergusson Music Building will be built next to the university’s Gulbenkian Theatre and will provide a multi-purpose music centre and concert hall for performances and rehearsals.

It will be built by Sevenoaks company Durtnells, which also built the Turner Contemporary building in Margate and Keith Mander, the university’s deputy vice-chancellor, said they had extremely high hopes for their building as a result.

Professor Keith Mander, the university’s deputy vice-chancellor, said: “When Sue came to the university 24 years ago she was told we would have this building but it has taken 24 years to get here.”

The Colyer-Fergusson Music Building is being built after a £1 million bequest to the university by Sir James Colyer-Fergusson and a grant of £5.2 million from his charitable trust.

The building will be completed by September next year.

Five practice rooms, three offices, a seminar room, foyer, support spaces and a flexible concert hall which can accommodate a choir of 200, orchestra of 80 and audience of 350 are planned.

The music building will be joined to the Gulbenkian cafe/bar and foyer to create one unit and the theatre/cinema box office will be moved. The new building will extend across the Gulbenkian car park almost as far as Giles Lane.

See this week's Gazette for full exclusive report and designs.

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