Curtain up on £12.2 million Grand Opera House restoration

The £12.2 million restoration and development of the Grand Opera House in Belfast has been completed, allowing the Grand Opera House Trust and its Chief Executive to plan for its full reopening in line with the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Pictured at the unveiling of the results of the Grand Opera House restoration project are: RoisÍn McDonough, Chief Executive Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Ian Wilson, Chief Executive, Grand Opera House; John Tracey, Director of Tracey Brothers; Colin Loughran, Chairman Grand Opera House Trust and Paul Mullan, Director, Northern Ireland, National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The project was delivered by specialist construction firm, Tracey Brothers Ltd, and more than 60 sub-contractors. John Tracey, Director of Tracey Brothers, said, “The project was unusual as it was made up of two separate sites. The focus of the work was the extensive restoration of the 1895 listed building and the installation of state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems to meet modern-day theatregoer expectations. Alongside this was the reimagination of the 2006 extension to make it more sympathetic to the Matcham building, complete with a stunning helical staircase, enhanced bar and hospitality facilities, and the installation of new interpretative spaces telling the story of the Grand Opera House.

“Tracey Brothers are delighted to have been involved in the project and the quality of the final result is testament to all involved. We hope that the Grand Opera House continues, not only as a source of great entertainment for young and old alike, but also as a landmark Belfast venue to visit for many years to come.”

As well as Tracey Brothers as main contractor, the project team included architects Consarc Design Group, interior design by Sundara Design, project management WH Stephens, special theatre consultants Charcoalblue, M&E by Semple & McKillop, and structural engineering by Albert Fry Associates.