Inner City Music, the charity that owns and operates Manchester’s Band on the Wall venue, has appointed Manchester property lawyer Stephen Sorrell to chair its board of trustees.
Sorrell, who was a partner at Eversheds for 26 years from 1989 onwards, has since founded residential development firm Northgate Investment Management and is also a trustee of HOME. He has taken on the role of chairman to provide strategic advice and direction as Inner City Music looks to deliver on an ambitious £3.5m project to increase capacity and provide expanded facilities for learning and participation programmes.
The plans, which include bringing the derelict Cocozza building to Band on the Wall’s rear into use, were approved in October 2017. Inner City Music is now working with bodies including Arts Council England and Heritage Lottery Fund on how best to fund the project.
Sorrell said: “It’s a real honour for me to be involved with Inner City Music; I am passionate about music, culture and the arts in my home city and I have experience of delivering public-funded arts capital projects including Manchester Art Gallery and HOME. By developing the facilities at Band on the Wall and growing the venue, we will its secure its heritage and future at what is undeniably a time of great change for Manchester and the region.
“I would like to extend my, and the rest of the board’s, thanks to our outgoing chair Andy Booth. He has steered the organisation through some challenging times over last the few years. It is thanks to him, my other board colleagues, and the infallible commitment from Gavin Sharp and his team that we are now in a position to secure the long term future of Band on the Wall.”
Karen Gabay of BBC Radio Manchester is also joining the board. Gabay, an experienced television and radio producer, presenter and researcher with a specialist interest in black music, has joined the board to provide guidance on the evolving heritage programme which will develop alongside the capital project to expand the venue.
She said: “Band on the Wall is far more than a music venue, it is a key part of Manchester’s history and we want to secure its future as well as celebrate its incredible legacy.”