Band on the Wall receives Capital Kickstart grant from Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund

Band on the Wall has been awarded a £412k Capital Kickstart grant as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund enabling the organisation to push forward with its long-planned capital project despite the financial challenge caused by the Covid-19 crisis.


Band on the Wall is one of 74 organisations receiving grants totalling £58.9 million today. The Capital Kickstart grants programme helps organisations cover costs added to capital projects such as building works, refurbishments, and large-scale equipment purchases by pandemic-related delays or fundraising shortfalls.

The historic venue, owned and operated by registered charity Inner City Music will use the grant to cover pandemic-related cost increases to its venue renovation project. It will also provide additional resources to provide Covid-safe environments should there be future outbreaks, including power assisted contactless doors, protective screens and improved ventilation, air handling and air conditioning.

With the addition of these funds, the project will be able to realise its full ambition of providing an expanded state-of-the-art venue for the city of Manchester, specifically designed to showcase a variety of international artists from across the broadest cultural spectrum; celebrating the diversity of the city of Manchester, and celebrating its international cultural links throughout the world. These include providing exceptional learning spaces for its Guide to the World of Music learning programme, and providing a second venue for the showcasing of emerging artists.

Today DCMS also announces that £165 million from the Culture Recovery Fund has been offered in repayable loans to help 11 major cultural organisations survive the loss of income caused by the crisis. This follows previous rounds of the Culture Recovery Fund, including the Grants programme which distributed £428 million to over 2,000 cultural organisations across the country, and the £3.36 million Emergency Grassroots Music Venues Fund.

Gavin Sharp, CEO, Inner City Music said:

2020 has been the most difficult year in our history, and the increased costs related to the pandemic put our long-planned capital project in jeopardy. Thanks to the Cultural Capital Kickstart Grant, we can realise the project to its full potential and provide a landmark cultural asset for Manchester when we re-open in 2021.”

Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said:

“This government promised it would be here for culture and today’s announcement is proof we’ve kept our word.

“The £1 billion invested so far through the Culture Recovery Fund has protected tens of thousands of jobs at cultural organisations across the UK, with more support still to come through a second round of applications.

“Today we’re extending a huge helping hand to the crown jewels of UK culture – so that they can continue to inspire future generations all around the world.”

Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair of Arts Council England said:

“Today’s announcement is another vital step in securing the future of England’s cultural sector. Supporting capital projects will help to ensure that we maintain an innovative, sustainable cultural infrastructure that supports world class creative work, while the loans announced today will enable some of our largest and most prestigious cultural organisations to weather the effects of Covid-19 and reopen when it is safe to do so. The Arts Council is grateful to the Government for their support through the Culture Recovery Fund, and we are proud to support all the organisations receiving funding today.”