Bolton Methodist Mission, Victoria Hall

 

In 1896 the Methodist Church formulated a plan to build a Central Hall in Bolton town centre. The site was chosen adjacent to the first Methodist Chapel, opened by John Wesley in 1776.  The new building connected into the original Chapel, whilst having the benefit of an impressive frontage with main entrance on Knowsley Street opposite the Bolton Market Hall.  Designed by local architects; Bradshaw and Gass, Bolton Victoria Hall was opened on the 14th March 1900, providing the rapidly growing cotton industry based town with a magnificent 1,300 seat concert hall. To boost income to fund the Hall, shops on either side of the main entrance were incorporated into the development with a tall tower known as Victoria Buildings. Victoria Hall is of national importance, being one of the earliest and best preserved examples of Forward Movement Halls, and it provided a blueprint for the numerous 'Central Halls' as they were known subsequently built throughout the country.

Following the strategy report of 2017, the Trustees have agreed to pursue a more detailed feasibility study to consider how the area of the building that fronts onto Knowsley Street could be altered to generate a greater level of income. The feasibility study will: review all 25 rooms; consider accessibility issues, examine how the crush hall could be altered to improve throughput; consider improvements to the toilets. Using the findings from the feasibility study, a grant application is planned to the Heritage Lottery Fund.

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