Christmas came early for the Gloucestershire Academy of Music when its directors, staff and pupils were told the future of their Blackfriars base at Barbican House was secure.

Gloucestershire Academy of Music was informed of the good news at the end of term concert earlier this month when young musicians from three years upwards performed in front of their parents, teachers and special guests.

There had been fears the Georgian-style building opposite Gloucester Docks would be bulldozed to make way for an access road to the city’s latest multi-million development. Plans for the area have now reached a point where the City Council can say with certainty that demolition of the building will not be necessary.

The Council has now assured the academy that the building can continue to be an important asset to the city.

Cllr Paul James, leader of the city council and cabinet member for regeneration, said: “It’s really great news that such a fantastic organisation can remain in Gloucester and continue to provide valuable skills to the young people in our communities.  We had to wait until the plans for the area took shape and we haven’t compromised on getting the right scheme for Blackfriars, but I am delighted this is the outcome.”

Tom Taylor, chairman for Gloucestershire Academy of Music, said: “This announcement is a huge relief to the academy as we are particularly keen to put down roots in this vibrant part of the city. It was the best Christmas present we could have had.”

Glyn Oxley, musical director at Gloucestershire Academy of Music, said: “This announcement will help consolidate the work of the region’s number one junior conservatoire. It’s great news.”

The academy, which was founded in 1982 by music teacher Caroline Lumsden, moved into Barbican House two years ago. The former probation offices, next to the old prison governor’s house, presented an ideal building for conversion to a music school.

Gloucester News Centre –

Gloucestershire Academy of Music receive ‘the best Christmas present’ as Barbican House remains by Shaun Moore | Gloucester News Centre -