Bristol Music Trust, the charity that runs Colston Hall, have announced their ambition for the hall to become carbon neutral by 2030. The announcement makes the Hall the first concert hall in the UK to declare this intention.

The transformation of Colston Hall is the biggest-ever redevelopment programme within the arts sector in Bristol. Apart from the construction of a foyer space that was opened in 2009, the building has not been refurbished for 60 years, making it the only major concert hall in the UK not to have been redeveloped in recent times.

Along with upgrading and remodelling Colston Hall, Bristol Music Trust’s ambitions to become a carbon neutral concert hall by 2030 form a core part of the transformation project.

Louise Mitchell, the chief executive of Bristol Music Trust, commented: “At this stage in our Transformation we are in a prime position to put environmental and sustainability targets centre stage. Our target is ambitious but absolutely realistic based on how we, as an organisation and our key partners, are embracing sustainability”.

The transformation team are aiming to work with partners to not only build on current sustainable practices, but to also take immediate actions and work to finalise a detailed plan on how they will become carbon neutral by autumn 2020.

Key collaborators include transformation building contractors, Willmott Dixon, who were the first in the construction industry to become carbon neutral in 2012, and have been recognised by the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise in the category of Sustainable Development.

Julia Barrett, the chief sustainability officer at Willmott Dixon, commented on the collaboration: “This week’s UN Climate Action Summit was a timely reminder of the urgent action needed to tackle global warming. As well as action taken by nation states to reverse the rise in carbon emissions to safeguard our future generations, business too needs to play a part. That’s why it’s important to see the leadership shown by Bristol Music Trust in driving this agenda by aiming to be the first carbon neutral concert hall in the UK…I look forward to working with Colston Hall to help their sustainable journey and share ideas together that support Willmott Dixon’s own trajectory to be a net zero carbon – or even net positive – business well before 2050.”

Bristol Music Trust’s plan for carbon neutrality focuses on using renewable energy, reducing waste created by Colston Hall and affecting their supply chain and procurement processes, as well as a carbon-offsetting programme to realise BMT’s carbon neutral ambitions once their emissions are reduced.