Manchester City Council has given the go-ahead for a masterplan proposal including a new 100,000 sq ft school building for Chetham’s School of Music and opening up the English-speaking world’s oldest public library, Chetham’s Library.

The scheme, which is being project managed by Drivers Jonas, will create new music and academic teaching areas, music practice rooms and performance areas and a new concert hall.

Work is due to start in September this year. A recent report by tourism consultants Locum said that the new Chetham’s, positioned at the heart of a Manchester ‘medieval quarter’ could generate £6m a year for the region. The new facilities were designed by Stephenson Bell.

Steve Jordan, partner from Drivers Jonas team, said: ‘After many years of planning and fund raising, we are imminently approaching the construction phase of the project and we hope to see the enabling works beginning on site by September.

‘The re-developed school will deliver enormous value not just to its students but to the city as a whole, sitting at the heart of an historic area surrounding Victoria Station.’

Claire Hickman, head of Chetham’s School of Music, said: ‘This is an important milestone in a groundbreaking scheme that will create truly world class teaching and concert hall facilities. Though its completion is some time away, our vision is now fully on track and we look forward to seeing this famous school transform.’