The Hans & Julia Rausing Trust has donated £5 million to the Royal Albert Hall, the largest single donation in the 145 year history of the Grade I Listed building. This generous donation allows the Hall to progress the final phase of the £37m development programme being undertaken to further improve artists’ and front of house facilities. It is planned that work will commence on site in October 2016 to create two new basements to the south west of the Hall, which will provide more space and significantly improve backstage facilities.

Mr Rausing has been a friend and supporter of the Hall for many years and donated to the last major building campaign in 2002.

Chris Cotton, Chief Executive of the Royal Albert Hall, said the “significant donation would help to generate momentum for the Hall’s remaining capital campaign fundraising efforts.

“We are enormously grateful to Hans and Julia Rausing for their longstanding and continued support of the Hall. Along with contributions from other generous donors, this significant gift enables us to continue modernising this important Grade I listed building to ensure it remains at the forefront of the UK’s live entertainment industry and continues to appeal to a wide range of worldwide artists and audiences.

“In recognition of their outstanding support, the Council of the Royal Albert Hall wishes to rename the Circle seating level ‘The Rausing Circle’.”