It’s not just Mancunians who believe Manchester is the most important city in the world in terms of cutting-edge music. Over the years, the city created a whole new musical genre, dubbed ‘Madchester’, and has churned out legendary acts from the Bee Gees to Oasis, leaving critics the world over to hail it as a true champion of the British music industry.
For years, the heart of this throbbing scene was the city’s most famous venue, Band on the Wall, which saw the likes of Joy Division, The Buzzcocks and Bjork play. But in 2005, the 140-year-old building had to close its doors due to its deteriorating condition. Luckily, in July 2007, Band on the Wall was granted £3.2 million of National Lottery cash by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England to transform the venue into a contemporary music centre.
“It’s great to be able to give Band on the Wall its beat back,” says PeteR, Casework Manager for the Heritage Lottery Fund. “Our grant was the first step in reviving Manchester’s famous venue and breathing new life into two of the city’s historic landmarks.”The money went towards transforming an adjoining listed building into a multi-use space. The Heritage Lottery Fund has also supported the development of an ongoing musical archive, which spans the past, present and future artists that play at Band on the Wall. The original performance space has been restored, with a state-of-the-art sound system put in place and a new recording studio installed. Ian Croal, Chief Executive of Inner City Music, the charity which runs the venue, said: “These grants enabled us to provide Manchester and the UK with an international stage for the best music from around the world and a platform for the finest local talent”.
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