Manchester’s historic Band On The Wall venue is set to reopen this spring after almost two years of redevelopment, it has been announced.
The Swan Street establishment – previously shortlisted in NME‘s search for Britain’s Best Small Venue – closed back in August 2020, bringing forward some long-standing renovation plans as the hospitality industry faced various COVID-related issues.
Staff have now confirmed that Band On The Wall will reopen its doors in March, having completed “extensive” work on the building.
“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,” an update on the venue’s official website reads.
“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.”
It adds: “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.”
Staff have also put together a schedule of events for its opening month and beyond – you can check it out here.
Gavin Sharp, CEO of Band on The Wall, said (via 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.”
Funding for the redevelopment project came from a £1.4 million grant from the Lottery Heritage Fund, as well as contributions from Arts Council England, Foyle Foundation, Oglesby Foundation, DCMS and the Charities Aid Foundation, Carlsberg, Ticketline, Lloyds Bank and Manchester City Council.
Band On The Wall has previously hosted performances from the likes of Björk, Joy Division, The Fall and the Buzzcocks.