A BRADFORD band with learning-disabled members has won £6,000 funding to help spread its unique sound across Yorkshire and beyond.

The Mind the Gap Band is fronted by Bradford learning-disabled musician Jez Colborne, and was formed during the creation of a production – Contained – by the Mind the Gap learning-disabled theatre company.

Until now the band has been performing music written by Jez, but recently developed a collaborative style of writing and making new music that draws on each musician’s individual- style interests and musical background.

Thanks to support from Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring Programme, Contained is being remounted this year and will be performed alongside the Mind the Gap Band at four gigs in Leeds, Halifax, Salford and Newcastle.

The £6,000 has come from PRS for Music Foundation’s The Open Fund for Organisations, which is the UK’s leading funder of new music.

Mr Colborne said: “I want people to understand that I’m a serious composer and musician.

“Not many bands have learning-disabled members, but we’re not just for learning-disabled audiences. I want thousands of people to hear us, enjoy the music and be excited. I’ve led music projects before but this is different. This band gives all members the chance to explore their musical creativity and to shine.”

Executive director Julia Skelton said of the funding: “We’re thrilled. This funding means that more people across Yorkshire and North England can experience the unique sound of Jez Colborne and the Mind the Gap Band. It also means high-quality recordings can be made available for digital release, reaching an even wider audience. Exciting times.”

In 2011 Mr Colborne was chosen to compose an open-air choral spectacular celebrating the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, along with Arts Council England, the UK Arts Councils and the British Council, awarded funding to Mr Colborne and the Mind the Gap theatre company.

Mr Colborne has William’s Syndrome – a genetic condition enabling some striking verbal abilities, perfect pitch and an affinity for music.

Mind the Gap, formed in 1988, is England’s largest learning-disabled theatre company.