Inner City Music, the charity that owns and operates Band on the Wall, has secured funding from Arts Council England to develop plans which could see the venue increase its capacity by 35% to 500 people.
The project will also provide learning and participation facilities for Inner City Music’s education and charitable activities at the Swan Street club, delivered through its partner charity Brighter Sound.
Inner City Music made a first stage capital bid application to Arts Council England and will now work on detailed plans for the £2.5m project, which needs to be submitted in a stage two application within the next 18 months.
Arts Council England will then assess the project against criteria including long-term sustainability and resilience, and the potential for partnership funding.
Gavin Sharp, chief executive of Inner City Music, said: “While we have a long way to go to secure the extension of Band on the Wall, this first stage of funding is crucial to allow us to develop our plans and we are very grateful to Arts Council England for its support.
“For the last six years we have successfully operated one of the UK’s oldest and most iconic small venues, maintaining our mission to present and showcase the best music from across the globe, with a clear focus on excellence. Our award winning programme is regularly held up as an example, as are our incredibly high production values.
“Now is the right time to extend Band on the Wall, with the huge amount of development taking place in our neighbourhood, such as NOMA, and the rapid growth of Manchester city centre we want to be able to bring exceptional, international artists to our growing audience.”
Band on the Wall opened in 2009.