City Varieties Music Hall, based in Leeds, has completed an 18-month refurbishment costing nearly £10m, funded by The Heritage Lottery Fund, the Grand Theatre (the operator - also in Leeds) and Leeds City Council. It includes a movemanSKG Prestige platform lift to improve access for people with mobility impairments.
Built in 1865, City Varieties Music hall is a much-loved venue that has survived three centuries. It has played host to some of the world's greatest entertainers, including Charlie Chaplin, Michael McIntyre and Bill Murray. It caters for a wide range of age groups and has become famous for its live music, variety, comedy and pantomimes.
The hall's refurbishment involved a complete demolition and reconstruction of backstage areas, painstaking ceiling and plasterwork repairs, new carpets and seating throughout the auditorium. Located at the rear of the building, movemanSKG's 3-stop Prestige allows less able staff and performers to access new changing rooms and the stage from street level.
David Evans, Project Manager at Leeds City Council, is keen to emphasise the council's commitment to disabled access: "Making premises accessible to people with disabilities is very important and we make every effort to ensure council-run facilities are equipped to allow less able visitors to move around independently. Indeed, we are part of the Disability Rights Commission's Open 4 All campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the duties for service providers to improve physical access.
"In the case of the City Varieties Music Hall, a platform lift was the natural choice. movemanSKG provided an excellent service and installed the unit efficiently, overcoming the challenges presented by the ongoing refurbishment, such as working around other contractors."
The lift installed at City Varieties Music Hall travels approximately five metres and has all the refinements typical of Prestige, movemanSKG's market leading platform lift. These include tactile illuminated control buttons, positioned at a convenient height for wheelchair users, and soft acceleration and deceleration to eliminate jolting at landings.
The hall's Prestige is for staff and performers only and not publicly accessible, yet its appearance is still important in such a grand building so it has a smart cream finish. Prestige is available in a variety of colours and materials, making it suitable for any given environment.