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Sounding good together with Music:Leeds

A new project – founded by a Leeds Beckett University lecturer - to coordinate, support, promote and develop the music industry in Leeds has now been launched.

Sam Nicholls

Music:Leeds will coordinate music-based activity in the Leeds music sector, whatever the level, genre or pathway. It will be an opportunity for everyone to access and engage with music, boosting Leeds’s international profile as a world-class city for culture.  

The project is supported by Leeds 2023 and Leeds City Council, with public funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England and additional support from Leeds Beckett, UK Music, PRS Foundation, Leeds College of Music, Leeds BID and Awesome Merchandise. It has also been endorsed by Simon Rix of the Kaiser Chiefs.

Supporting those invested in the Leeds music scene through commercial and community pathways, Music:Leeds will create networking opportunities, targeted projects, music events, advice for individuals, local organisations and businesses, and provide funding from national funders and music industry bodies.

Sam Nicholls, Senior Lecturer in Music at Leeds Beckett and Director of Music:Leeds (pictured top), said: “It’s immensely exciting to unveil our plans and put them into action, with such a wide range of partners in the city, which is what Leeds should be leading on. The opportunities in the city to bring together professionals, the education sector and performers from different genres is truly incredible; I believe it’s something that Leeds can be proud of. We hope Music:Leeds provides the foundation for many incredible projects, and brilliant music to come.”

Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council, said: “The establishment of Music:Leeds is an important step in promoting Leeds as a  city of creators; a city which welcomes and nourishes talent and provides the  necessary environment to learn, grow and develop in our thriving cultural and  creative sector. 

“Music:Leeds has a real opportunity to capitalise on the talent and potential in the  city to not only contribute to the city’s cultural narrative, identity and profile but to  also ensure that Leeds is the best city in which to live, work, visit, play and create  for years to come.”

Music:Leeds will host the first of a series of City Music Forums on Tuesday 5 March at Leeds Town Hall, in coordination with Leeds City Council Arts, Venues and Events.

The City Music Forum will give everyone involved in the Leeds music scene an opportunity to have their say, offering feedback on important issues impacting the role and profile of music in the city. Attendees will be invited to propose items for discussion on the day. This event follows a successful Town Hall event in November 2017 which attracted speakers from across Europe.

Music:Leeds event at the Town Hall

Confirmed speakers for 2019s City Music Forum include:

- Amy Lamé (Night Czar, London)

- Dr Matthias Rauch (Head of Cultural Urban Development, Mannheim Germany)

- Tom Riordan (Chief Executive Leeds City Council)

- Ruth Pitt (Chair Leeds 2023)

- Kath Davies (Creative Economy Manager, Kirklees Council)

- Alan Miller (Chair, Night Time Industries Association)

- Oli Morris (Director of Education & Skills, UK Music)

- Claire Heap (Visitor Economy Manager, Visit Leeds)

For further details and to register to attend the City Music Forum, please click here.

Simon Rix of the Kaiser Chiefs said: “It’s great to see Music:Leeds launch, to help see the city fulfil its massive potential by supporting new talent coming through and making existing links more tangible and concrete. That’s together with other recent developments, such as the relocation of the Channel 4 headquarters to Leeds. This is another platform to help boost the city’s creative resources and provide a platform for galvanising the city’s creative industries musically and beyond.”

Oliver Bray, Acting Dean, School of Film, Music & Performing Arts at Leeds Beckett, added: “Leeds Beckett acknowledges the fundamental importance of culture and the arts as the lifeblood of our local and global communities. Our £80m investment in a new creative arts building in the centre of Leeds, which contains within it cutting-edge music facilities, demonstrates the strength of our commitment.

“We are proud that initiatives and partnerships such as Live At Leeds, Unconference and UK Live Music Census has allowed our academic staff to play the lead role in establishing Music:Leeds, and we look forward to supporting the valuable research and development opportunities the organisation will provide in the future.”

For more information, visit Music:Leeds. Artists/musicians and composers can apply for support at the Music:Leeds Launchpad

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