New music space opens in Liverpool

Scheme promotes music skills in underprivileged areas

The first of a new kind of publicly-funded music space has opened in Liverpool today (May 11).

The Knotty Ash Arts And Community Centre is home to two music rehearsal rooms, offering young people from the area a safe and affordable place to practice, and learn practical production skills.

The centre, the first of ten planned nationwide, was opened by former Undertones singer, music industry umbrella group UK Music Chief Executive Feargal Sharkey, and Culture Secretary Andy Burnham.

Sharkey said of the scheme: “The rehearsal room scheme is a wonderfully simple idea: first find a suitable location; kit it out with musical equipment, and then encourage young people in the surrounding area to get stuck in.

“The benefits stack up socially, economically and culturally – and hopefully some of those young people will pick up valuable skills and go on to work in one of our fantastic creative industries. The scheme also encapsulates how national and local government can work together with industry.

“The Knotty Ash facility will plug directly into Liverpool‘s thriving music scene and local music business – encouraging creativity, bringing the community together and benefiting a new generation of musicians.”

Burnham added: “The rehearsal spaces at Knotty Ash are a fantastic new resource, providing a great leisure facility for young people and the chance to get experience in a whole range of areas that might lead to a career in the new creative industries.

“This is just the beginning. Spaces owned by local authorities around the country are being transformed with Government money, and member companies of the music industries. We are focusing our efforts on areas of deprivation – both urban and rural – where there may be few other facilities for young people. These fully-equipped spaces will make a big difference for young people who are looking for somewhere to practice, spend time and find an outlet for their creative skills.”

Further centres are planned in Bristol, Hastings, Manchester, Norfolk, St Austell and Warrington.