VIDEO: School’s £750k appeal to revamp hall

VIDEO footage from Tuesday night’s Robert Smyth Academy campaign launch to raise £750,000 to refurbish its large school hall to create “the best performing arts space in the Harborough area”.

The ambitious project is centred on the main hall at the school, in Burnmill Road in the town.

Robert Smyth Academy vice-principal Richard Taylor, fundraiser Louise Jones, principal Sue Jones and chairman of governors Max Corney during the Hall Together Now appeal launch on Tuesday night. (Picture: ANDREW CARPENTER)

Robert Smyth Academy vice-principal Richard Taylor, fundraiser Louise Jones, principal Sue Jones and chairman of governors Max Corney during the Hall Together Now appeal launch on Tuesday night. (Picture: ANDREW CARPENTER)

If the project’s aims are achieved, the hall will become a beautiful, stand-alone venue for both the school and the wider community to use.

“We’re looking to raise awareness and raise money,” explained the scheme’s fundraiser Louise Jones, after Tuesday night’s launch.

“The hall is just beautiful, but it’s so tired at the moment.

“We’re looking to bring it up to its former glory, install tiered seating and then extend it with a foyer and bar, a reception area and additional rooms.”

Inside the main hall at Robert Smyth Academy in Market Harborough. (Picture: ANDREW CARPENTER)

Inside the main hall at Robert Smyth Academy in Market Harborough. (Picture: ANDREW CARPENTER)

School principal Sue Jones added: “I think it’s the largest performance space in the local area but it doesn’t lend itself to high-quality performances at the moment.

“We’re looking to create the best performing arts space in the local area, and I believe it has that potential.”

This week’s launch of the Hall Together Now! campaign saw potential sponsors and friends of the project come together at the school.

Guests were told: “We hope that you will embrace the campaign to make the hall a fantastic facility for both Robert Smyth Academy and the whole community.”

Students performed during the launch event for the Hall Together Now appeal. (Picture: ANDREW CARPENTER)

Students performed during the launch event for the Hall Together Now appeal. (Picture: ANDREW CARPENTER)

The evening was a chance for guests to find out more about the plans, and either hire the facilities or sponsor the refurbishment.

The Hall Together Now! project is in three phases.

Phase one is almost completed, with new windows and doors installed and work on the hall’s exterior progressing.

Phase two will see the installation of a new floor, retractable theatre-style tiered seating, new staging and the removal of an asbestos ceiling to accommodate theatrical lighting. Phase three involves a new extension out towards Burnmill Road with plans for a foyer and bar, reception area, extra rooms and storage space.

Robert Smyth Academy principal Sue Jones during the launch of Hall Together Now. (Picture: ANDREW CARPENTER)

Robert Smyth Academy principal Sue Jones during the launch of Hall Together Now. (Picture: ANDREW CARPENTER)

Sue said: “We’re hoping all that can be achieved in the next two years.

“Lots of people think it’s a fantastic idea. We’re at the start of an exciting adventure.”

Story by Alex Blackwell.

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Robert Smyth Academy fundraiser Louise Jone speaking during the Hall Together Now appeal launch. (Picture: ANDREW CARPENTER)

Robert Smyth Academy fundraiser Louise Jone speaking during the Hall Together Now appeal launch. (Picture: ANDREW CARPENTER)

Hiran Maher, Francesca Langley, Georgia Hannah and Kiran Maher during the Hall Together Now appeal launch helping to promote an Indian event taking place at Robert Smyth on July 4. (Picture: ANDREW CARPENTER)

Hiran Maher, Francesca Langley, Georgia Hannah and Kiran Maher during the Hall Together Now appeal launch helping to promote an Indian event taking place at Robert Smyth on July 4. (Picture: ANDREW CARPENTER)