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Letter: Good and bad ways of spending the National Lottery proceeds

Sir: Michael Church's article "Who gets what? Why?" (3 May) rightly recognised that the Royal Albert Hall's application for lottery funds from the Arts Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund aims to be "people- friendly". This must surely be an aspiration of all lottery applicants. But he is wrong to suggest that our plans are in some way dismissive of the need to look at the acoustics of the hall.

Our original masterplan, on which the lottery application is based, included a detailed acoustical survey. What became apparent was that further studies would be necessary and that, given we were already operating in an acoustically difficult building, there were no easy answers.

The hall's responsibilities as the venue for the world's greatest classical music festival are taken very seriously but always in the context of our responsibility to the British people as custodians of an historic monument that is also the nation's village hall.

"People friendliness" in a multi-purpose venue is about improving people's experience for seeing, as well as hearing, and for improving facilities for a range of events as well as the particular needs of a single art form. If we are successful in our lottery bid, we will hope to transform the experience of all our customers - audiences, artists and even acousticians.

Yours sincerely,


Chief Executive

Royal Albert Hall

London, SW7

3 May