The state-of-the-art redevelopment of the Symphony Hall was officially launched as three of Birmingham’s most esteemed musicians were present at the world-renowned music venue to celebrate the beginning of redevelopment that will create a performance space for talented local artists to have even more opportunities to perform as part of a daily programme with free and affordable performances.

Three of Birmingham’s leading musicals stars Jaki Graham, Reuben James and Lady Sanity were specially invited to the launch with world-renowned singing group, Black Voices – associate artists at Symphony Hall - on hand for a short performance.

Performances Birmingham (Town Hall and Symphony Hall) Chair of the Board, Anita Bhalla OBE, saying: “Birmingham has a strong music tradition with the likes of Black Sabbath – and the ‘birth’ of heavy metal - and Bhangra music so prominent hailing from here – and that tradition is still strong today.

“That’s why this journey is led by the heart and soul – making music accessible”.

One of the most popular R&B and dance artists of all time, soul legend, Jaki – who enjoyed 6 consecutive top 20 hits - said: “I have had the privilege of performing on stage at Symphony Hall and, as a Birmingham-born artist, it filled me with pride. I’m honoured to be invited to launch this major transformation, which will provide many more talented local musicians the opportunity to perform in this incredible venue". She headlined Jamaica’s 50th Independence Cultural Extravaganza at Symphony Hall in 2012.

Town Hall Symphony Hall Chief Executive, Nick Reed, said: “We currently reach over 18,000 people with our learning and community programme and over the coming years we will be able to reach thousands more in the transformed spaces that this project will create. As significant cuts are made to music tuition in our region’s schools, this transformation will support local talent by providing an enhanced space for people to be musically creative".