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Your money will go directly to fund the revitalisation of the Hall. You will help to create an affordable, inclusive community arts space. On a practical level your contribution will enable the installation of a climate-friendly heating and ventilation system; the provision of top-class sound and lighting that will allow for professional recordings; a brand new box office, servery and accessible toilet facilities; a fully refurbished outdoor amphitheatre for performances; a new public entrance; and the creation of the UK’s first Museum of Brutalist Architecture.

Your support will help establish an accessible and world-class performance space for everyone in the local community,opening up the arts to those unable to pay West End prices. MoBA (see above) aims to inform people about Brutalist architecture and record people’s experience of it.

 The community as a whole will benefit. Our consultation exercise showed that lots of local community groups struggle to find affordable venues. We would like to see all manner of activities in the hall, from local theatre groups to artists looking for somewhere to show their work. Having a well-ventilated space will allow student dance shows to take place on site for once.

A third of Acland Burghley’s students are neurodiverse – making it in the top 1 per cent most inclusive comprehensive schools in the country. Access to the arts can make a huge difference for these students.

Research suggests that the arts can improve mental health across the board and create a more cohesive community.

The Hall is currently used by a combination of students at Acland Burghley, the resident Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and a variety of commercial and community groups such as the recently-formed Hex Community Choir and Orchestra.

The OAE – or Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment – is an internationally renowned orchestra, specialising in music from the eighteenth century. They are only the second professional orchestra in the world to be based in a state school, and the first in the UK.

The OAE moved into Burghley in 2020 and are bringing music into all aspects of school life.  The orchestra uses the Hall for rehearsals and has its offices in the school.

Famous for innovation, they have recently been working with dance students at Acland Burghley on combining the music of Johann Sebastian Bach with hip hop. Another project involved GCSE dance students choreographing a modern dance piece set to the music of the French composer Jean-Phillippe Rameau. See the video:

 MoBA is the UK’s first Museum of Brutalist Architecture. It will have a physical presence in an allocated area of the Hall as well as a digital profile. See:

National Lottery Heritage Funds are supporting the launch of MoBA . It will put on shows, inform people about Brutalism’s place in architecture and allow people to talk about their experience of it.

The Hall is workable because five years ago Camden gave us money to make it a warm, safe, and water-tight space. But it is still a shadow of its former self. When it was built in 1966 it was described as having great acoustics.

Since then the sound cladding has been damaged.  Poor ventilation means on hot days it’s very uncomfortable to be in. There is no changing room and there has never been proper disabled access or a disabled toilet. Nor is there any servery area. The neighbouring amphitheatre has fallen into disrepair and can’t be used as an external performance space.

In a situation where we secure a proportion of the £1.875 million but not the full amount we will work with our architects and consultants to identify aspects of the plans that can be delivered within the available budget. Money donated to the Hall for All will go towards these costs and will not be returned.

Construction is planned to commence in June 2025. If all goes according to plan building works will be completed and the Hall reopened in Spring 2026 just in time for its 60th Anniversary.

The cost of the works is £1.875 million. This allows for inflation and contingency costs.  A re-costing exercise is underway but it is unlikely that the budget will change significantly.

 There are a number of ways in which we will guarantee the long-term viability of the Hall. The school will continue to receive maintenance funds from LB Camden. The school has a history of strong financial and resource management: they will ensure it stays open and in good repair.  On completion, energy costs will be significantly reduced due to the installation of an earth duct passive ventilation system (at £130,000 this is the single most expensive element of the building).

Work on business planning is underway. A pivotal aim is to balance the income generation opportunities offered by the fully refurbished hall with the level of community access we want to achieve. The aim is for the Hall to generate sufficient income to cover running costs.

You can either go to our CAF donated page here:

It is also possible to donate via cheque. Please make cheques payable to:

Acland Burghley Trust

And send to:

Acland Burghley Trust
c/o Finance Manager
Acland Burghley School
Burghley Road

Yes you can – watch this space!

Yes, you have the option to give every month.

If you are a UK taxpayer your donation is tax free. The tax goes to you or the charity. How this works depends on whether you donate through Gift Aid or straight from your wages. You need to keep a record of your charitable donations.

Yes, adding Gift Aid to your donation is an easy way to boost your donation and it doesn’t cost you a penny. Donating through Gift Aid means we can claim an extra 25p for every £1 you donate. It doesn’t cost you any extra but it means your gift will be worth 25% more to us.  Please complete our Gift Aid Declaration form – we’ll then be able to claim Gift Aid on any donation you make.

You can either contact Hannah Newman, our project manager, on HNewman@aclandburghley.camden.sch.uk or  hallforall@aclandburghley.camden.sch.uk.

We have a student and parent body – as well as many members of the local community – with extraordinary commitment to the Assembly Hall, who have supported our work to list and protect it. There are a number of ways you can support the Hall for All project:

  • Helping to organise and support fundraising events in the Hall for All
  • Volunteer for the Museum of Brutalist Architecture (for example archiving,  creating content for the website or supporting events)
  • Support our Community-Led Management Board to ensure engagement of local community groups

If you are interested in any of the above please contact hallforall@aclandburghley.camden.sch.uk.

Acland Burghley’s safer recruitment procedures mean all volunteers are required to attend safeguarding training and complete DBS checks.

 Priority around sustainability has informed the choice of the Hall’s new ventilation and heating system. There is a commitment to ensure that the renovated space meets exacting environmental standards and aligns with Acland Burghley’s pledge on decarbonisation and to combat the negative impacts of climate change.

The school is a signatory to the Camden School Climate Charter and a member of the National Trust Fit for the Future Network and will continue to work with all users of the Hall to ensure we all play their part in reducing our environmental impact.

The London Borough of Camden is the freeholder. The school site team works closely with the Council in their capacity as our Local Education Authority.

At present access to the Hall is poor with badly located ramps, no accessible toilet facilities and steep, unrailed steps.  Ensuring the Hall is accessible to people with a disability is a priority in the renovation plans.  We will make sure that all members of the community can participate as both audience members and/or performers and essential facilities such as accessible toilets will be provided. 

The Hall will be a modern performance space and our aim is to provide a venue for events that can be enjoyed by everyone in comfort. We hope to offer a full range of accessible performance options including captioned, BSL, audio described and relaxed environments. 

This is particularly important to us as the venue will be used by Acland Burghley students and the school is renowned for neurodiversity. By providing a flexible staging system, there will be extensive options for performances of many different types.

On completion on the renovations, with the benefits of improved ventilation the Hall will have an increased capacity of 600 standing and 350 seated.

On completion of the works the Hall will offer world-class performance and recording space. The aim is to offer the staging of West End-standard shows, giving access to the arts to people who would otherwise be prohibited from participating.

There is no limit to what could happen at the Hall, from club nights, concerts and stand-up to plays, debates, dance shows and recitals. Every term Burghley students from the Dreamchasing Young Producers club put on Live at the Hex, which showcases a range of acts. You can see more here:

Yes. The Hall’s hexagonal shape and multi-height spaces would make an exciting venue for fashion and other shows. Once the Hall has been brought up to international acoustic and lighting standards,  it could become a destination for a wide variety creative, visual and performing arts organisations, individuals and businesses. We welcome approaches from anyone interested in staging innovative arts and community activities.

100%. The Hall will feature a brand-new professional hanging system. We will also have temporary exhibition equipment.  We are also exploring the options for installing facilities for more immersive art experiences, subject to costs. We actively encourage artists to apply to exhibit their work. 

No. Acland Burghley is fortunate to have a sprung floor in its Performing Arts facility (which is also available for hire). But the Hall is often used as a dance venue for smaller shows.  We are hopeful that even more innovative shows will be staged once the planned refurbishment takes place.

The school site team is responsible for the space within school hours. Our external lettings provider, Schools Plus, is responsible at evenings, weekends, and in school holidays. This practice is well-established and already balances school use with external access.

The aim is for the Hall to be open 365 days a year. We want to provide maximum community access (within the limitations of its use during school hours and term times). The exact opening times have yet to be confirmed.

Groups and individuals will continue to be able to book the Hall on the same basis until it closes for refurbishment.

Existing hire rates will remain until the building works commence. A Community-led Management Board (CLMB) has been created and is advising on a pricing formula for when the Hall reopens in Spring 2026 to establish rates for use, including affordable rates for community groups. 

Yes. We are excited at the prospect of being able to open our doors to more schools in the area. Our sixth form students at LaSWAP use the hall regularly as do other local schools. Such arrangements will continue. We are happy to extend use to other schools based on the pricing formula we develop.

We hope to obtain a licence for all civil ceremonies to take place in the Hall. Wedding receptions and other celebrations can already take place. 

Parents will be able to book the Hall in the same way as all other users. However, priority will be given to community activities and fundraising initiatives.

Potentially. Such details will be confirmed in advance of the 2026 opening.  We do not want to adopt any payment mechanisms that might act as a barrier to participation and this will be put to members of the Community-Led Management Board (CLMB) for their recommendations.

Anyone wishing to serve alcohol on the school site is able to do so with permission by applying for a Temporary Events Notice (TEN) from London Borough of Camden. We have no plans to change this system which seems to work well.

There will be a cancellation policy but this has yet to be confirmed. It will be consistent with venue hire policies elsewhere and the terms and condition may include a requirement for a non-refundable deposit.

There is no space for a commercial caterer. We want to support local business and hope to be able to provide a list of nearby suppliers when the Hall reopens. Acland Burghley’s Food Technology classrooms are housed within the Hall. These are used by Camden Integrated Youth Support Services on a weekly basis. We are exploring how these could extend beyond the school community to provide for catered events in the Hall. The plans provide for a new servery.

Acland Burghley is used to managing visitors during term time. The school follows the Department for Education’s “Keeping Children Safe in Education” statutory guidance. All visitors are required to register and obtain a lanyard at reception and are required to be accompanied at all times whilst on site. On reopening, there will be a separate entrance to the Hall and the appropriate safeguarding arrangements will continue to be applied for those visiting the Hall during school hours.

The Acland Burghley School Trust is a registered charity which has been set up to raise funds for extra-curricular opportunities and to improve the school grounds for all of our students. With a regular gift through a standing order or even a one-off donation, you can help us say yes to more performing arts productions, yes to inspiring guest speakers and class trips and yes to improved sports facilities.

Find out more here