Sheffield: National youth orchestra to relocate from London

A national youth orchestra has become the latest performing arts organisation to announce plans to relocate from London to Sheffield.

Orchestras for All (OFA) has said it will move from its headquarters in the capital to South Yorkshire and follow in the footsteps of the English Touring Opera.

OFA will be based at Canada House, a Grade II-listed building in the city centre which has been vacant since 2011.

Councillor Martin Smith from Sheffield City Council said the newcomers would “make brilliant additions to an already thriving cultural scene”.

A council spokesperson said OFA’s decision to relocate to the city came after a “rigorous shortlisting” process following a national call-out for suggested destinations.

Canada House is currently being restored as a music hub. The renovation project is being spearheaded by the Harmony Works charity, which promotes music education for young people.

Nazar Khapsalis, orchestral tutor at OFA, said Sheffield was “a very exciting city to be in currently”.

He added: “We have many musical organisations that are wanting to work together to provide the best musical education for young people in the city.”

Mr Smith, the council’s economic development and skills committee chair, said the local authority was “dedicated to creating opportunities for all our young residents and to create a city they can prosper in”.

“That is why we are committed to supporting the development of a regional music education hub for young musicians here in the city through the Harmony Works project.”

The news comes after the English Touring Opera announced in May that it will open a base in the city.

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