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Manchester venue Band On The Wall to reopen after redevelopment

It was closed in August 2020 for repurposing and renovation work

By Charlotte Krol

Outside view of Band On The Wall music venue in Manchester, 2012
Band On The Wall music venue in Manchester (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Jake)

Band On The Wall is set to reopen this March after nearly two years of redevelopment.

The legendary Manchester venue in Swan Street closed in August 2020 for planned renovation work that was brought forward as hospitality and entertainment industries dealt with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A £1.4 million grant from the Lottery Heritage Fund, as well as contributions from Arts Council England, DCMS, Foyle Foundation, Oglesby Foundation, Charities Aid Foundation, Carlsberg, Ticketline, Lloyds Bank and Manchester City Council, enabled the venue to carry out the work.

“The venue, with its 200-year history, has been transformed with the main room capacity extended to 500 and a whole floor dedicated to our innovative learning programme, World of Music,” reads an update by staff on the venue’s official website.

“As a registered charity since 1984, the driver for the transformation of the venue is to create a collaborative hub for young people, the local community and Manchester’s creatives, and to celebrate the cultural diversity of Greater Manchester.

“Designed with accessibility in mind, our new ground floor step-free entrance leads into both the venue’s main performance space, as well as access to our brand new grand and ambient bar space.

“The new bar, which will serve hot food also has a new stage for smaller capacity performances of up to 80 people. The bar will now also open during the day to serve as a community space, and will be open for free to the general public.”

Gavin Sharp, CEO of Band on The Wall, told Manchester Evening News: “Band on the Wall has always been bigger than just a venue, and over the last two years we’ve been very busy working on our expansion project – including an increased main venue capacity, new café bar, a second smaller performance space, and significantly enhanced and expanded learning facilities to support our exciting and brand-new learning programme, World of Music.

“We are delighted to open our doors once again this March, and we look forward to welcoming guests back to our newly improved venue.”

Band On The Wall is one of Manchester’s most historic venues, having previously played host to acts including Bjork, Happy Mondays, Joy Division and The Fall.

The venue has also unveiled its events schedule for the spring – head here for details.