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Peer's plea for proposed new concert hall to be built in the Royal Borough

Peer's plea for proposed new concert hall to be built in the Royal Borough

Emma Billingham

A call has been made by Labour peer Lord Dale Campbell-Savours for a proposed new concert hall to be built in the Royal Borough instead of London.

Speaking in the House of Lords on Tuesday, Lord Campbell-Savours put forward the notion that with Crossrail soon to be implemented, a hall in Maidenhead would make sense.

The cultural centre idea has been put forward to allow London to continue to compete with other European arts centres such as Paris and Copenhagen.

Conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra Simon Rattle, who will lead the London Symphony Orchestra from 2017, kick-started the idea of a new performance hall following his comments to the BBC that London's halls were not up to international standards.

The Chancellor, George Osborne, has commissioned a feasibility study into the concert hall concept and the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has included the plans in his long-term economic plan for the capital.

Lord Campbell-Savours, who lives in the Riverside area, told fellow peers: “Why not build a new international concert hall on a site on the Crossrail route, on a site accessible to Heathrow and on a site where land is far cheaper then in central London? Can I suggest building it in the Royal Borough? Surely the Home Counties deserve their share of major projects following Crossrail?”

Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth replied: “My Lords, every major city in the world has a concert hall within the centre of the city.

“London and the United Kingdom are in need of a new concert hall in the capital city.

“The acoustics here are poorer than in all our competitors, and that is why the new hall is likely to be in central London.”

Following his speech, Lord Campbell-Savours said later: “The Royal Borough should benefit from some of the spoils of Crossrail. I now leave it to the council to take this up and fight to have it here.”

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