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Willmott Dixon to stage £50m revamp

CONTRACTS - BRISTOL

WILLMOTT Dixon has won the competition to revamp the south-west's largest music venue.

The firm saw off rival bidders HBG, Laing O'Rourke and local firm Cowlin to secure the £50 million Colston Hall redevelopment deal for Bristol City Council.

One disappointed bidder said: 'We got notification last week telling us we had failed to make the cut. It was a large project that every team was very keen to get.' Located in the middle of the city, the venue has been providing the people of Bristol with musical entertainment for over 140 years.

Redevelopment work on the venue has been scaled down since the original plans were drawn up last year.

The project was initially expected to cost around £90 million but the plans were called back at the end of last year because of finding problems.

The revised scheme will include a four-storey building ? rather than the planned sixstorey ? and will provide less room for offices and catering.

Work will also include knocking down another part of the site and building a new foyer building attached to the front of Colston Hall.

The venue itself will undergo a complete refurbishment.

Demolition work on the ection being torn down ? Colston House ? will begin in November with construction work planned to start early next year. The first phase of the project is due to be completed in 2008.

The current building, which seats around 1,800 people, opened in 1951 to coincide with the Festival of Britain.

Since then Colston Hall has seen some of the world's most famous rock stars grace its stage, including the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, David Bowie and Bob Dylan.