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Capital Developments

The Chetham’s Foundation is at a defining moment in its history. It will soon be known to many more people as a centre of excellence for music, education and heritage. Work is underway to ensure that Chetham’s facilities are up to the high standards necessary for the leading music school in the world, that its students have 21st century living accommodation, and that it can share its history, stories of characters of the past, beautiful architecture and the vibrant music from the young musicians of today and tomorrow, with the outside world.    

The Chetham’s Foundation is therefore engaged in a multi-phased programme of capital developments as follows:

Phase 1) New School Building – Official opening took place in October 2012 

Phase 2) Medieval Site Works – to begin soon after the new School Building has opened

  • Conversion of classrooms into living accommodation and essential upgrades to existing student accommodation in The Nicholls Building (part of The Millgate Building, overlooking The National Football Museum)
  • Demolition of the former music department (The Palatine Building, overlooking the River Irwell) which is in an unsustainable condition and obscures the site of where Manchester began
  • Critical repair and restoration work
  • Structural changes to prepare the medieval site to welcome a wider public in, alongside Chetham’s School of Music  
    All of the above will lead towards the creation of a major new Visitor Attraction  

Phase 3) Concert Hall – it is a priority for the School to complete this as soon as possible 

For greater detail, click on Summary of Proposals to see the original masterplan, where it is broken down into more phases. Please note that the phases and timings are a dynamic picture, as the implementation of the plan is adapted in response to the level of funding raised.  

"Chetham’s.  Home to the world-class School of Music and the Medieval Library, these two organisations, located together on a single site at the heart of one of Europe’s most dynamic city regions, represent a very special opportunity. 

The School’s buildings currently fall below acceptable 21st century standards for both education and boarding: immediate action is required. 

The Library building and its contents, although in good condition, are completely hidden from the public and only a small number of people are aware of their existence. 

This is not just a project about a new School and an old Library, but about saving a unique and world-class educational institution on the one hand, and an outstanding historic building for the nation on the other.  This is a project that sits at the core of the ambitions of the Manchester city region, which is looking to preserve and enhance its unique assets for the long term benefit of its people.  Opportunities of this quality and impact arise but rarely in the life of a region, and it is essential that everyone gives them maximum support. "

- Michael Oglesby
Development Advisor and Trustee of Chetham’s Hospital School and Library