National contractor Shaylor Group announced recently that contracts have been signed for the construction of Cedars Hall, a new music and performance facility at Wells Cathedral School. The multi-million pound building will provide flexible, high quality recital space and sectional practice rooms for use by the school and wider community. The stylish building, designed by internationally acclaimed architect Eric Parry, will be placed in the centre of the school and, in addition to music, will be used for lectures, meetings and drama productions.Wells Cathedral School is one of the UK’s most distinguished co-educational Independent schools, and one of only four specialist music schools in England. The recital hall will accommodate an audience of up to 350 and is recessed into the surrounding garden, which is visible through large windows and allows natural light to fill the space during the day. The stage, seating and acoustic wall panels within the hall will be able to adapt to various layouts with differing acoustic qualities suitable for a range of music styles and audience configurations. Cedars Hall will be set within the boundary of Cedars Field, a unique and historically significant heritage site.
Elizabeth Cairncross, Head of Wells Cathedral School, commented “This facility is vital for Wells Cathedral to maintain its status as a world class music school. At present our symphony orchestra rehearses in the 15th century theological library which is beautiful, but acoustically inappropriate – and not nearly big enough. We hope Cedars Hall becomes an important musical venue in the South West and will enable us to expand our music outreach programme. We believe music should be all-inclusive and Cedars Hall helps us reach more people including those talented children who need our support and guidance.” Mark Coote, CEO of the Wells Cathedral School Foundation said, “Cedars Hall is being created through the generosity of individuals, families, charitable trusts and foundations, including Arts Council England, throughout the UK; and the Wells Cathedral School Foundation continues its fundraising appeal to make Cedars Hall happen.”
Shaylor Group Chief Executive Stephen Shaylor added “Our team are very excited to begin work on this intricate project, which has been awarded thanks to our outstanding reputation in the Education sector and particular expertise in music facilities. We look forward to working with the Staff, Governors and Trustees of the school and providing them with a world class facility.”Pictured at the contract signing are:Back Row:Peter Knell, Wells Director of Finance and Resources; Richie Shaylor, Group Operations Director, Shaylor Group; Gareth Steventon, Quantity Surveyor; Nick Mather, Quantity Surveyor; Dorothy Nancekievill, Wells Director of Music; Mark Coote, CEO of Wells Cathedral School FoundationFront Row:Stephen Shaylor, CEO Shaylor Group; The Very Revd. John Clarke, Dean of Wells Cathedral and Wells Chair of Governors; Elizabeth Cairncross, Head, Wells Cathedral School