We have announced the launch of a three-year transformational Capital Programme to ensure that we are able to deliver increased activities for all our communities, to enhance lives and improve health through creativity. The Capital Programme will mean that our buildings and sites have improved accessibility for everyone, are financially sustainable and help us on our path to net zero carbon.

Following in the footsteps of our founders, Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears, and their passion to ensure that the arts were useful and available to everyone, the Capital Programme will mean that our existing buildings will be fit for purpose, efficient and help us to achieve our mission.

Highlights of the capital programme include:

1. The modernisation of the Britten Pears Building, first converted in 1979, to enable increased levels of community use and the expansion of our community and creative health programmes. A new lift will be created to ensure that everyone can use the revamped studios.

2. A series of upgrades to Snape Maltings Concert Hall, the first significant works since 1999, to improve access, audience comfort and programming flexibility. There will be auditorium seating improvements, upgraded lighting, an extra passenger lift, refurbished toilets and better kitchen facilities.

3. Britten Pears Arts will significantly lower carbon emissions by installing roof insulation, photovoltaic panels, and by connecting the music buildings to a renewable heating system.

4. Working closely with the Alde and Ore Estuary Trust (AOET) and the East Suffolk Water Management Board (ESWMB), the Snape Maltings flood defences will be raised to protect the site against a 1:200 year event. In parallel, landscape architects will design improvements to outdoor public spaces and access routes.

5. There will be a new visitor exhibition at the Red House and a Discovery Centre at Snape Maltings, to tell the rich stories about the two sites.

6. As well as improvements to existing artist accommodation at Snape Maltings and in Aldeburgh, nine new bedrooms will be created at Snape Maltings for visiting musicians, arts practitioners and visitors.

Snape Maltings Concert Hall

Snape Maltings Concert Hall

Credit: Timothy Soar
The Red House

The Red House

Credit: Philip Vile

Subject to funding, planning and listed building consent, the majority of the works will take place in 2025 and 2026 and are likely to cost just under £14M. A third of the funding has been secured and we have assembled the professional team to advance the designs through planning and consultation.

We will be launching an appeal to our donors and members next year. If you would like to contribute before then, please get in touch with Emily Stubbs: estubbs@brittenpearsarts.org or Alison de Zoete: adezoete@brittenpearsarts.org. There will be naming opportunities for various elements of the project.

We intend to continue with most activity throughout the period, and neither the Aldeburgh Festival nor our Summer programme will be affected. It is inevitable that there will be some disruption, but this will be managed carefully to minimise disturbance at our two sites.

For more information please email capitalprogramme@brittenpearsarts.org. We hope you share in our excitement about these positive and transformational improvements.