World Heart Beat Music Academy Given Funds for New Home

Education centre and concert venue to be built in Embassy Gardens

CGI showing how the new concert venue might look

World Heart Beat Music Academy have been given funding to build a new music education centre and concert venue in Embassy Gardens, Nine Elms.

The £800,000 given by the government’s Levelling Up Fund is one of just six grants awarded in London after a bid by Wandsworth Council.

World Heart Beat, a registered charity, was awarded the building in 2018 as ‘cultural anchor tenants’ by the council and property developers Eco-World Ballymore from a competitive field of 42 cultural organisations and has a 50-year lease at £1 a year.

The money raised will go towards World Heart Beat’s new Embassy Gardens site and to extend their work at their existing Kimber Road music academy. 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 adjacent communities on the Patmore, Savona, Carey Gardens, Doddington and Rollo estates. Funds will also help provide 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.

CGI of the planned new recording studio at the education centre
CGI of the planned new recording studio at the education centre

The new centre will also be the first public concert hall to open in London since 2008, equipped with state-of-the-art technology / digital infrastructure. 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.

World Heart Beat has already started 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 across the borough of Wandsworth and beyond.

Sahana Gero, Founder and Artistic Director said, “We are overjoyed to have received this transformational award from the Levelling Up Fund, which brings us close to our fundraising target. We believe that our new building, which is cutting-edge, will be a blueprint for the future of music education and an incredible asset for the community, in an area desperately in need of concert venues. Our vision is to create an inspirational space for music, which is truly outstanding. And now, with the final £600,000 to raise, we hope businesses and individuals will jump in to support us. We have a ‘shopping list’ which includes everything from microphones to naming the auditorium!”

A Wandsworth Council spokesperson said, “Securing £800,000 of the Levelling Up Fund is a huge milestone for Wandsworth Council and World Heart Beat. As ‘cultural anchor’ partners, this money will go towards cementing a musical base into the very fabric of Nine Elms, a place that is fast becoming a destination for arts and cultural organisations. We look forward to continuing the fantastic work that World Heart Beat are already doing in the Nine Elms community to reach new audiences and bring music to our vibrant neighbourhood.”

It is hoped construction will be completed in the spring, ready for launch in autumn 2022.

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November 10, 2021