Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Brassed Off's Grimethorpe Colliery Band in danger of closing

Band outside Olympic stadium
Image caption The brass band featured in the opening ceremony of the London Olympics

A brass band in South Yorkshire which was the inspiration for the film Brassed Off is in danger of closing, according to its manager.

Grimethorpe Colliery Band is surviving on income from playing concerts after losing sponsorship money.

The band's manager Nigel Dixon said the schedule of 40 to 50 concerts a year was "not sustainable for a long period of time".

Mr Dixon said if the band could not find additional funding it could close.

The band was founded in 1917 by workers from the local coal mine.

It survived the closure of the pit in 1993 and relied on sponsorship money from a coal mining company, which ended in 2011.

The amateur group found fame after its recent history was fictionalised in the 1996 film starring Ewan McGregor and Pete Postlethwaite, which the Grimethorpe band provided the sound track for.

It also featured in the opening ceremony for the London Olympic Games.

Mr Dixon said that despite the band's international reputation its future was uncertain.

"We're on the edge," he said. "There is absolutely no doubt about that, and we're having to work to survive.

"How long can we sustain 40 to 50 concerts a year? Not for too long I would guess."

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