A £1.6m cash injection will support the Liverpool city region music sector and create apprenticeships and traineeships. Tony McDonough reports
A strategy to support and grow Liverpool city region’s music sector is being boosted with a £1.6m cash injection.
Liverpool City Region Combined Authority is offering the funding to the LCR Music Board to back the next phase of its plan for the sector. This will include providing apprenticeships and traineeships for people making their careers in music.
In March 2020, the CA approved £2m for the Music Board. £400,000 of that has already been provided. This included establishing a £150,000 emergency support fund for music businesses affected by the pandemic. More than 50 music businesses were supported through this fund with grants of up to £5,000 per business.
Now the remaining £1.6m will be used to deliver the second phase of the LCR Music Sector Development Project. It is being combined with match funding from local organisations and providers.
This project aims to ensure business growth, skills and talent development alongside associated investment. Its goal is to strengthen the local music ecosystem through the creation of an LCR Music Office.
The skills development strand of the project will deliver apprenticeships and traineeships across the music sector. The programme will also support industry career events, and outreach to young people. These will include local music education hubs, aiming to support young people into full time sector employment.
It will invest in talent development through established initiatives such as LIMF Academy and the Momentum programme delivered by PRS Foundation.
Head of Liverpool UNESCO City of Music, Kevin McManus, will lead the LCR Music Office. Similar to Liverpool Film Office, it will be a single point of contact for music businesses across the city region.
Its function will be to provide information, advice and signposting to available support. Initially the Music Office’s focus will be on supporting the work of the Music Board and in particular the delivery of the SIF-funded programme. Kevin said: “The local music sector is an important economic driver for the city region.
“This programme will help ensure that the sector can continue to grow, creating skilled jobs here, retaining talent in the region and making it a place where other music businesses want to invest.”
Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram added: “The Liverpool city region has as strong a claim as anywhere to be the home of British music. No area has had more number one hits and, in my opinion, nowhere has our heart or our talent.
“Today, our music scene is as vibrant as ever. We’re home to a thriving community of incredibly talented artists who are continuing our area’s proud legacy. Our musical heritage is obviously very important, attracting millions of visitors to the region every year, but I want to invest to ensure that our future can be just as bright.”