November 10, 2021
World Heart Beat Music Academy and Wandsworth Council have been awarded £800,000 from the government’s Levelling Up Fund (LUF) towards the creation of an innovative new music education centre and concert venue in Nine Elms.
The registered charity was awarded space in Embassy Gardens in 2018 as ‘cultural anchor tenants’ by Wandsworth Council and local developers EcoWorld Ballymore from a competitive field of 42 cultural organisations. The building has a 50-year lease at £1 a year.
World Heart Beat joins several other ‘cultural anchor’ tenants such as Matt’s Gallery, Chocolate Films and Theatre503 as they begin to move into the regeneration area, fast becoming a destination for arts organisations.
The news comes as World Heart Beat start work on the construction of their new premises which is situated next to the US Embassy and near the new Nine Elms Tube station. The new space will benefit thousands of young people, many from disadvantaged backgrounds in the local area and across the borough of Wandsworth.
The money raised will go towards World Heart Beat’s new Embassy Gardens site and to extend their work at their existing music academy in Kimber Road, Wandsworth. The total project cost is £3.2m and to date £2.6m has been raised to include the LUF award. To reach their target, World Heart Beat has now launched the final phase of its fundraising campaign, to raise the last £600,000 to enable them to fully realise their vision.
The new Embassy Gardens music centre will be a centre for musical excellence, providing thousands more students with music education whilst doubling teaching capacity each year. It will allow World Heart Beat to continue with their community-informed approach to engage young people and residents in the Nine Elms area including those living in the nearby Patmore, Savona, Carey Gardens, Doddington and Rollo estates.
Funds will also help provide top quality recording studios and kit, enabling the charity to record students first EPs and together with their industry partners, teach a breadth of music industry skills such as sound engineering.
The new centre will be the first public concert hall to open in London since 2008, equipped with state-of-the-art technology. The high-quality acoustics and performance space will provide a platform for an array of artists, from students to young people at the very start of their careers, and ‘household names’ performing everything from western classical, to Indian music, jazz, and more.
Main construction on the site began on Monday 8 November with a view to being completed in the spring, ready for launch in autumn 2022.