Triodos Bank has provided part of the funding for a new £6.3m extension at iconic music venue St George’s Bristol. The finance from Triodos was combined with funding from Arts Council England, Heritage Lottery Fund, and Bristol City Council, as well as charitable trusts, major and individual donors.
St George’s Bristol, a registered charity, has undertaken its ambitious construction plans to expand and futureproof the venue. The ‘Building a Sound Future’ project has seen the creation of a two-storey modern extension to the existing Georgian building, with space for artists, students, daytime visitors and evening audiences, as well as corporate or private hire.
Designed by architects Patel Taylor, the extension blends into the existing neo-Classical building – a former church by eminent architect Sir Robert Smirke and opened in 1823. The extension also boasts a number of environmental credentials.
Suzanne Rolt, chief executive of St George’s Bristol, commented: “Triodos stepped in to help St George’s Bristol at a critical time, providing the loan that enabled us to bridge our funding gap and secure plans to transform the organisation through an ambitious capital project.
“Triodos staff understood the challenges we were facing and supported our vision of ‘Building a Sound Future’; they’ve never been anything less that totally engaged and always there to provide friendly and well-informed advice. From that initial meeting we now have a professional and mutually beneficial relationship that continues to offer new opportunities for us to work together for the good of our community and for culture in the city.”
Oliver Baxter, relationship manager at Triodos Bank, added: “Not only is St George’s Bristol a neighbour to us at our UK headquarters in Bristol, but it also is closely aligned with our mission and values as a bank. The new extension gives the organisation an opportunity to reach even more people with its programme of music and talks.
“We lend solely to organisations that promote positive change for people or the planet, and St George’s is a great example of this. Arts and culture can help overcome societal issues and support communities to unite and flourish, which is why we lend to this sector. We see that art improves quality of life for all and can elevate us beyond a purely materialistic society.”