We are pleased to announce that our School of Rock project is being supported by Youth Music, using public funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

The grant of £6,061 in emergency funding, means that that we can now restart School of Rock and reconnect with young people when they need music the most.

The School of Rock is a collaboration between The Old Courts and Wigan Music Service which was started back in 2015 using a blend of professional music teachers, musicians and volunteers. Since then, School of Rock (SOR) has provided the space, support and expert guidance so young people aged 11-17 can create original music with feeling. To date, School of Rock has produced over 57 musicians in Wigan, a town with one of the lowest levels of cultural engagement in the UK and in the 20% worst areas for IMD deprivation.

Jonathan Davenport, Artistic Director said: “Due to Covid-19, we had to close our doors to the public, meaning that we had no choice but to completely pause School of Rock. We run School of Rock at a financial loss but it is a project that we are passionate about so we make up the short fall with profits made on drinks and ticket sales but with neither of those things happening we were worried that we wouldn’t be able to continue with School of Rock until maybe 2021. This gap in the programme would have had a detrimental effect on our young people’s music skills, mental health, confidence and relationships during this crisis period. Music can open up amazing conversations about bullying, mental health, anxiety and grief and we recognise that we need to support our young people now more than ever.