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Organ deal falls through

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WARRINGTON’S historic Cavaille-Coll organ looks set to remain in the Parr Hall – at least for the time being.
A lengthy consultation with Sheffield Cathedral, which had expressed an interest in acquiring the instrument, has ended with officials admitting they are unable to raise the money to relocate the giant organ.
Warrington Borough Council now plans to consult with all interested parties to discuss the future of the instrument so that it can be enjoyed by as many people as possible.
Cllr Kate Hannon (pictured) the council’s executive member for leisure, culture and communities, said: “Whilst we are disappointed that following a lot of work and negotiation Sheffield are not in a position to take the organ, I think this gives us a real opportunity to reconsider the future of the instrument.
‘We all want to find a solution where the organ is maintained and enjoyed by as many people as possible and to that end I have asked officers to review the current condition of the organ and establish a range of options for the future.
“This will be done by ensuring that we consult with all interested parties so that elected members can then determine the best way forward.”
The Very Reverend Peter Bradley, Dean of Sheffield Cathedral, said: “It would have been wonderful to bring this truly great organ to Sheffield, but unfortunately in the current economic climate it has simply proved impossible to raise the funds. On behalf of the Cathedral, I would like to place on record our thanks to colleagues in Warrington, who have done all they can to help us make the project the success it deserved to be.”
The future of the organ has been in doubt for years but the move to Sheffield was the only option which seemed likely to go ahead. A significant number of music lovers have always campaigned for it to stay in the Parr Hall where it is played perhaps six times a year – including at concerts by Warrington Male Voice Choir.
Built by the master French organ-builder Aristide Cavaille-Coll in 1870, it was installed at the Parr Hall in 1923-26. It is one of only two of its type in the world and the cost of moving it has been put at more than £1 million.

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Experienced journalist for more than 35 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with six in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

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