Royal Concert Hall aims to get bums on new seats

Royal Concert Hall interior 2009

32 years ago, the Royal Concert Hall was first constructed and became one of the finest entertainment venues in the city of Nottingham and the UK. The seating installed in the building was fitted by Race Furniture, a company based in Gloucestershire. Naturally they take much pride in their work and the seats stood the test of time with countless performers coming and going over those 32 years. Having sat in them myself many a time, I can vouch for the fact that the Royal Concert Hall is one of the best places to sit and watch a show and indeed one of the most comfortable.

RCH auditorium under construction 24 August 1982

RCH auditorium under construction 24 August 1982

After three decades of welcoming visitors with a comfy seat while taking in a show, the Royal Concert Hall is now having all of its seating replaced. With over five million visitors sitting in the auditorium in the 32 years, and signs of gradual wear and tear on the material, it was decided that the time was right to replace them for fresh new seats. What makes this story so fantastic however, is that Race Furniture are back 32 years on to replace all the seating, having won the contract out of all the potential candidates. It’s seems only right that they carry out the job really, and not just in a sentimental and poignant way. Ultimately, the seats are a fundamental part of the Concert Hall, everyone experiences them every time they visit to see a show. A lot of time and effort goes into making them, fitting them and designing them to guarantee the best possible experience for the audience, and Race Furniture have done it all before, and very successfully too.

First row of new seats inserted 140731

First row of new seats inserted

I paid the guys at the Concert Hall a visit in late July, to see the progress for myself first hand. I wasn’t expecting what I saw, or indeed what I felt when I walked onto the stage. All of the seating had been removed, and what strikes you is the emptiness and the scale of the space that exists in the Concert Hall when it’s just a bare shell. Also, the noise when you speak is completely different. It’s amazing how much you appreciate the job the seats do to the acoustics of a room when they’ve been removed. Indeed, when the Concert Hall was designed, much like any theatre, the seats are considered when the acoustics and sound are thought out. The shape of the seats and most importantly the material they are made from all affect the delivery of sound and speech in the venue from the performer on stage. It can be the difference between experiencing music perfectly, or losing its impact on an audience.

140811 collage 2

Collage of images showing tiers 1 and 2 upon their completion

Tiers one and two are almost complete, with the new seating already looking very much at home in the Concert Hall. Dave Guy, Technical Director of the Royal Concert Hall is leading the project and said “Our new seats are state of the art and our customers are going to notice a real improvement in their all round comfort”. He added “we are delighted that Race Furniture won the contract and will be completing the renovation for us. It brings the project full circle.”

I couldn’t agree with Dave’s comments more when it comes to Race Furniture winning the contract. It’s a fitting move that sees a historic relationship continued not just between the Concert Hall and Race Furniture, but between the customers and the venue. The seats are such an integral part of the experience, so who better to keep us comfortable for another 32 years than the company that’s been doing it for the previous 32.

To follow the progress of the project as it happens, with a live photo stream, please click here.

You can also enter their competition giving you the chance to have your own message appear on one of the new seats for the next 25 years. To find out what to do to enter, please click here.

Posted on 22 August 2014
Featured author: Tom

Nottingham lad who’s a proud Notts County fan, cheese fiend, chocaholic and loves travelling and music.

Comments (0)

Post a comment

Our monthly pick

Nottingham We Dig The Castle

We Dig The Castle: Unearthing Nottingham’s Archaeological Secrets Part Two

This blog is the second instalment of a two part blog. To read part one click here. Back in July I visited Nottingham Castle to find out more about the annual archaeological excavation ‘We Dig The Castle’. A partnership project between Trent & Peak Archaeology, Nottingham City Council and Historic England, this excellent scheme invites volunteers…

Your favourite places

Featured authors

  • Sarah Louise

    A very lucky marketeer in her dream job. Passionate about all things Nottinghamshire and firmly believes if you work really hard and are kind, amazing things will happen!

  • Kinga

    Addicted to music and learning languages. Loves reading, gardening, travelling and everything new media related.

  • Alistair

    Originally from Preston – but now calling Nottingham home – Alistair’s a St Helens rugby league fan who loves travel and music.

  • Natalie

    Proud to represent the county I grew up in. Travel loving devoted mum of two who carries a torch for the city’s unsung hero, Captain Albert Ball VC.

  • Sophie

    Writer and amateur local historian with an affection for English eccentrics. Returned to Nottingham in 2013, only to fall in love with the creative and cultural goings of the city.

Have a go...

unesco city of literature nottingham

Speak In Nottingham To Me – A Beginner’s Guide To Nottingham’s Dialect

Language is certainly one of our best creations. Without it, it would be difficult for us to coexist, establish communities and share feelings. Language makes it all easier and helps us work together and understand one another. Throughout history people always felt the need to find one universal language for all. Several attempts were made to popularise different languages…