Bristol music venues awarded £1.3 million to boost music in the city

We’ve got some fantastic news! Bristol Music Consortium – made up of Bristol Music Trust (the charity responsible for Colston Hall and Bristol Plays Music) and St George’s Bristol – have been jointly awarded £1.3 million in regular funding from Arts Council England (ACE) to boost music programmes in the city.

The money will be awarded over four years, from 2018 to 2022,  and will be used to bring world-class artists to the city and provide more opportunities for Bristol’s diverse communities to experience music and music making.

Louise Mitchell, our Chief Executive of Bristol Music Trust, said: “We are delighted with this award from Arts Council England, which we see as real recognition of the work we have been doing with our partners, St George’s Bristol over the last three years.  Together we are committed to leading and delivering an inspiring, wide-ranging music programme that brings benefits to every person in the city, and this award will enable us to be even more ambitious and reach even further into communities.”

Suzanne Rolt, Chief Executive of St George’s Bristol, said: “Arts Council England continues to invest in music and Bristol’s cultural landscape, supporting the city’s leading venues. It is thanks to funding that we can bring an extraordinary range of world-class artists to the southwest, and to our unique creative space, as well as nurturing new composers and locally-based young musicians.”

The award will be used for a wide range of activities, including working with partners such as Ujima, Bristol Reggae Orchestra, BCFM and the Asian Arts Agency to reach all of Bristol’s communities, and securing more performances from black and minority ethnic (BAME) artists and those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Children’s music will see a boost too, with support for St George’s Cosmos Children’s Community Choir for school children living in disadvantaged areas, and also for the annual Hoo Ha! family festival at Colston Hall.

For young people looking to develop a career in music, there will be support for the Young Companies in Residence programme, run by Bristol Plays Music, the music education hub based at Colston Hall. This programme works with 250 children and aims to give talented young musicians and singers a world-class music education to encourage a professional career in music.

Multi-Track, Bristol Plays Music’s new into-industry programme for aspiring urban artists will also benefit from the funding, along with St George’s work providing support for local refugee artists.

This is our second successful bid to ACE in partnership with St George’s Bristol, who were previously awarded us £975,000 over three years in 2014 and given National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) status, which was the first time that music in Bristol had been recognised and supported in this way by the Arts Council.

We’d like to say a huge thank you to the Arts Council for continuing to show their support for music in the South West and to all of our audiences who continue to support live music with us and St George’s Bristol.

We’re changing

On Wednesday 23 September 2020 Colston Hall changed its name to Bristol Beacon, and this means we’re changing too.

Bristol Plays Music is run by Bristol Music Trust, the charity that also runs the venue formerly known as Colston Hall. These two organisations will soon unite under one name: Bristol Beacon.

Click below to find out more about how we’re changing, watch our name announcement, and discover how we want everyone to share in the joy of live music.

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