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The latest news from Gloucestershire Academy of Music
Wed 10 Jul 2024

Barbican House Appeal -Update

Our Barbican House Appeal ‘Be Part of Our Future’ has been hugely successful in raising funds towards the purchase of our beautiful building. You, our wonderful friends and supporters, have all been central to the success of the project so we wanted to provide a update on how things are progressing!

Funds Raised!

With your help, our total funds raised towards the purchase of Barbican House stands at a magnificent £433,000.00!

History of the appeal

The appeal first came to life back in 2019 and early 2020. By March 2020 GAM had a fully researched Appeal Strategy in place, ready to go. Then, COVID!

The Appeal was paused during the pandemic as GAM rallied its teaching troops and set about adapting to new and innovative ways of teaching online and remotely!

Fast forward to February 2022 with a firm commitment from Gloucester City Council to sell Barbican House, the public campaign was launched.

By summer 2023 we had reached a campaign total of over £400,000 and the negotiations with Gloucester City Council were underway.

Where are we now

Over the past few months, negotiations with GCC have moved forward well. Valuations have been conducted alongside structural reports and maintenance schedules to help us gauge an accurate value for our wonderful building.

During the local elections, and as we approach the newly-announced General Election, we envisage progress to slow a little, but we are very confident that we will be able to finalise negotiations and complete the purchase before the end of 2024. This will be a hugely historic moment in the history of Gloucestershire Academy of Music. We will most certainly marking this pivotal moment with a large celebration for all involved with GAM and the ‘Be Part of Our Future’ Appeal. Watch this space for further updates in the coming months.

Where do we want to be!

Owning Barbican House will mean that we can carry out the adaptations necessary to maximise the use of the space, enabling more people from the county’s diverse cultural community to use the building in different ways.  Our plans for the building include:

  • Increasing accessibility – a flat or ramped entrance to the front and a lift to the upper floors.
  • A new entrance to create an orientation space/reception area to welcome visitors.
  • To better utilise the space at the heart of the building (currently a redundant courtyard) by creating an atrium to make a community space available for visitors to enjoy a drink, snack and socialise).
  • Increase the capabilities of the current rehearsal space through re-configuring the room to ensure better acoustics and create opportunities for performances to occur within the building.
  • Further work will include the introduction of a recital room for small ensemble rehearsals and performances.
  • We will increase our visibility outside the building with improved signage and lighting and internal signage.
  • We will assess our environmental impact and seek to improve this as part of the scheme.  Our plans will ensure that future changes contribute to our overall aim of being more sustainable.

With the incredible support from our donors, patrons, trusts, staff, teachers, parents and students we are confident that Gloucestershire Academy of Music, in its Barbican House home, will become the epicentre of Arts Education in Gloucestershire. It is already home to the internationally renowned The Flowers Band, the Gloucester Dementia Choir, Gamelan workshops and numerous other diverse arts activities.

Should you have any questions, comments or would like any further information or, should you wish to donate further to our appeal then please contact me directly on

Thank you all

Richard Ashton-Phillips BMus (hons) RWCMD, Executive Director, Gloucestershire Academy of Music