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Plans to develop a music institute at the Waterfront Business Park, Brierley Hill, have taken a major step forward.
Agreement has been reached to transfer Cable Plaza from Intu Properties plc (owners of Merry Hill) to the new institute, which will trade as Resonance.
Forming a central part of the DY5 Business and Innovation Enterprise Zone, Cable Plaza will now be converted into a state-of-the-art music centre, and will include recording studios, practice rooms, teaching facilities, production suites and more.
The venture is being made possible thanks to funding from the Black Country LEP, which has approved a grant for £7.16m, and financial support from Unity Trust Bank, Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council, and Nesta’s Arts Impact Fund. The conversion process will take most of this year. Students will start arriving in September 2020, although community-based activities will start earlier in the year.
Resonance aims to be a world-class provider in music education, respected for excellence in teaching and learning, producing highly employable graduates. Courses at degree level will include popular music performance and production, composition, live sound, management and more. The team behind the initiative say they are committed to the establishment of “an outstanding, dynamic and meaningful learning experience, relevant to today’s and tomorrow’s music industry.”
David Barnard, co-director of Resonance, said: “We’ve now completed Stage 1 – purchasing the lease on Cable Plaza. Stage 2 involves selecting and appointing a contractor to convert the building according to our designs. All being well, we’ll be ready to move in at the end of the year – that’s when the fun starts. It’s taken us a while to get here, but we’re now on our way.
“Students coming to Resonance will be taught by some of the best minds in the music industry. We will be offering students an apprenticeship-style degree, blending technical and practical skills and personal development with academic rigour and research.”
When launched, Resonance will:
Deliver 4,800m2 of purposed-design education facilities
Deliver higher education to 600 learners
Create a professional standard music centre, which will be open to members of the local community of all ages for activities ranging from band rehearsals through to music therapy and kindermusik
Stewart Towe, Chair – Black Country LEP, said:
“We are delighted to support Resonance. It’s a fantastic initiative and is very much part of our remit to facilitate growth and regeneration in the Black Country. The region has a rich cultural heritage and has a reputation for producing talented, creative people. Resonance will harness that creativity and provide a platform for hundreds of exciting skilled careers.”
Khurshid Ahmed, cabinet member for regeneration, planning and economic investment at Dudley Council, said:
“I’m delighted to hear the funding has been secured for what is a very exciting development for Dudley. The money is now in place to crack on with creating a state-of-the-art venue for some of the country’s top music students. Bringing hundreds of students to the area will result in a massive boost for the local and regional economy as a whole. It is fantastic news.”
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