Acoustic improvements hit the right note

Work is taking place at Todmorden Town Hall to improve the acoustics in the ballroom, as part of Calderdale Council’s £121,000 refurbishment programme. 

The improvement works at the historic building will include the installation of new acoustic panels to reduce the amount of echo in the ballroom. The room will also be redecorated with a colour scheme close to the original décor when the hall was first opened. This will include revealing the unique Minton tiles located around the perimeter seating. 

In planning the works, the amount of sound reverberation around the ballroom has been one of the key issues to try and resolve. The levels of reflected noise around the large space is particularly problematic for spoken word events, as the speaker’s voice can be very difficult to make out, especially for those some distance from the speaker. 

Following an acoustic assessment, a number of measures have been identified to help absorb the sound and stop it bouncing around the space. As the building is Grade 1 listed, improvements have been planned with guidance from conservation officers and Historic England. 

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Services and Communities, Cllr Susan Press, said: 

“The main hall at Todmorden Town Hall is a beautiful large space, making it ideally suited for events; however, the poor quality of sound can restrict its potential. 

“I’m pleased that work is progressing with acoustic improvements as part of significant investment in the building. The works will make a real difference and ensure that the venue is fit for purpose for both musical and spoken word events.” 

Improvement work will involve providing a deep plaster frame planted onto the existing plaster panels into which the acoustic panels will be positioned. This will retain the look of the hall but vastly improve the acoustics. 

A sample of the new plasterwork has been installed and the panel will soon be added. Historic England will then view the finished proposal and either give their approval to proceed with the remainder of the work or recommend alterations to the design. 

To find out more about Todmorden Town Hall, visit There are also regular free tours of the building. For dates and times, visit link) 


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