WORK on the multi-million pound refurbishment of Liverpool's iconic Philharmonic Hall is set to begin.

Building contractors Gilbert-Ash have been chosen to transform the 1939 Grade II listed venue in Hope Street in a scheme costing £13.8m.

Work will start after the Hall closes on Friday, May 23, after the final concert of its current season.

It will reopen in November, with the full complex, including the new second space, completed in Spring 2015, the 175th anniversary year of the founding of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic.

As part of the revamp 'significant improvements' will be made to front-of-house areas, stage and auditorium.

There will also be new warm-up, practice and backstage facilities for resident and visiting musicians and artists.

Designs for the new-look venue has been created by architects Caruso St. John.

The refurbishment costs have been supported through a major award from Arts Council England, and significant capital contribution from Liverpool City Council, with further awards from trusts and foundations, and gifts from individual donors.

Michael Eakin, chief executive of Royal Liverpool Philharmonic said: "We are delighted to be working with Gilbert-Ash on the refurbishment of Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.

"We are confident that they will realise to the highest quality the architectural plans developed by Caruso St. John with our design team that will complement and enhance one of Liverpool’s great buildings.”

The has been a Philharmonic Hall on the site in Hope Street since 1849. The original, designed by architect John Cunningham, opened in August that and was destroyed by fire in July, 1933.

A new Hall opened in June 1939. It was designed by architect Herbert J. Rowse, whose other buildings in Liverpool include Martin’s Bank, India Buildings and the Queensway Tunnel entrances, toll booths and ventilation building exteriors.