July 17th 2023

We let the Music Play: Wirral

On Wednesday, 12th July, Liverpool City Region Music Board hosted its fourth ‘Let the Music Play’ consultation event, at Future Yard in Wirral.

We invited music professionals, artists, and anyone working in the music sector across the borough of Wirral to attend the event. This allowed the Board to gain a better understanding of the various opportunities and constraints they face locally.

The event was hosted by representatives of LCR Music Board, including Craig Pennington and Cath Hurley from Future Yard, Andy Dockerty, Managing Director of Adlib; Kevin McManus, Head of Liverpool UNESCO Music City; Grace Goodwin, a researcher from The University of Liverpool; and Sarah Lovell, Lead Officer for Culture at Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.

Craig said, “As a Music Board member and an advocate for Wirral, I was proud to host this music board event at Future Yard, appreciating and celebrating the talent we have here. The Music Board will use the insights gathered during the event to develop our action plan that considers the priorities of all six boroughs in the city region, in order to support the music infrastructure and develop talent.”

The Music Board documented the comments shared by local participants, which will play a vital role in shaping their future plans and strategies. Some common themes and topics that emerged from these discussions include:

  • The pressing concern over night-time transport, with delegates expressing their interest in learning about the music board’s ongoing efforts to reinstate night buses, including the tunnel bus.
  • A strong sense of pride in recent additions to Wirral, such as the dynamic Future Yard and the Northern Powerhouse.
  • Recognition of the value provided by existing “open mic nights” in Wirral, but a desire for greater coverage and accessibility across the entire region.
  • Concerns raised regarding rent, planning, and the agent of change issues that pose challenges for local venues.
  • Extensive discussions revolving around education and skills development, aiming to raise awareness of diverse careers within the music sector while introducing individuals to relevant local businesses and training programs, such as those offered by Future Yard and LIMF Academy.
  • The need for increased support in sharing and facilitating applications for funding opportunities.
  • Encouragement for collaboration among industry professionals working within the local music scene.
  • Suggestions were made regarding the potential of music as a tool to address social issues (i.e. loneliness, cost of living and socialising).
  • A call for more music festivals and mass participation events in Wirral to serve as platforms for emerging grassroots artists.
  • Limited access to PA and technology facilities from local providers was highlighted as an area for improvement.
  • Recommendations were made to enhance safety measures at music venues, including the introduction of an equivalent to the ‘Good Night Out’ training program.

These valuable insights will guide the Music Board in their mission to support and nurture the music sector in Wirral, ensuring the development of a thriving and inclusive local music community.

The consultation event concluded with entertainment from artists who had previously benefited from Future Yard’s Propeller Programme – musician Blue Jean and band Things Happen Fast.

We have two more consultation events planned for Liverpool (26th July), Knowsley (22nd August) and St Helens. Keep checking our website for information.