Singclude - improving access to choral singing for mobility impaired people

May 2017 - Stairs? No Problem!

A joint venture between Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus and The Montgomery is solving the problem that stairs can cause to both audience members and performers with mobility impairments.

Due to the style and age of The Montgomery and the Chorus's home venue of the City Hall, both venues have some tricky steps to negotiate that can't be solved by adding lifts or ramps.

"We have been successfully using our stair-climber backstage at the City Hall to reach the choir risers since 2012 when we were thrilled to receive Big Lottery funding for our Singclude project" explained Anne Adams, Administrator of the Chorus, "And, in keeping with the project’s aim to improve accessibility to performance spaces, we are even happier to announce that we are now in a position to share the use of the climber with The Montgomery. With 35 steps to reach the auditorium, the climber will be a welcomed addition to the facilities of the theatre." More details...

The climber will next be put through its paces on Saturday 6th May, smoothly aiding singers up to the performance level of the City Hall when over 270 singers from both the Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus and the Hallé Choir will be performing Tippett's A Child of our Time. "This powerful work is large and dramatic so we need a huge number of voices, hence the welcome collaboration with the Hallé Choir. And we certainly wouldn't want any of our less mobile singers to have to sit out for the sake of not being able to negotiate a few flights of stairs," said Chorus Chairman Paul Henstridge.

January 2012 - National launch of 'Singclude'

With the help of Big Lottery Awards for All funding, we have purchased a portable and easy-to-operate stair climber which facilitates access to the raked platform in Sheffield’s City Hall.  This enables our wheelchair-using member to participate in our concerts, from which she was previously excluded. It makes access easier for other mobility impaired members, and has successfully aided access in other concert venues with built/raked seating. More about the stairclimber is here.

The national launch of Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus’s Singclude project was hosted by Peter White, Disability Affairs Correspondent for BBC Radio 4.

The launch took place at 3pm on Wednesday 25 January 2012 at The Memorial Hall, Sheffield City Hall, Barkers Pool, Sheffield S1 2JA

The event will offer the chance to:

  • Learn about the project;
  • Hear the benefits it can offer to users and their colleagues;
  • Appreciate how the innovative use of existing technology will open up a new era of access and integration possibilities within choral singing;
  • Network with officials from disability groups, city representatives, potential users of the portable stair climber, representatives from SIV Ltd, the Big Lottery and Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus;
  • See the stair climber in action.

RSVP to Kate Reece Email at or 0114 2339316.

Singclude more information | Singclude press release | Swallow Lifts

This official national launch of Singclude has been made possible due to generous support from Big Lottery Awards for All and Sheffield International Venues Ltd.


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