Creative Kirklees

Creative Kirklees / News / Mon 17 Dec 2018

Huddersfield set to become world-class hub for music

Huddersfield set to become world-class hub for music

Kirklees Council in partnership with the University of Huddersfield and a number of music organisations, festivals, independent venues, a record shop and a label, have come together in a Music Group to set out an ambition to deliver a world class music offer that culminates in a ‘year of music’ in 2023. This ‘year of music’ will be the districts contribution to the Leeds City Region cultural celebrations and programming.

As part of the planning towards a ‘year of music 2023’ a number of groups have been established - one brings together the districts’ music festivals, and another links up the classical music organisations. But this is only the start as the district begins to explore how to start to develop sustainable models and programming for 2023.

To support this ambition, work is underway to support the music sector to define what a world class music offer is, what it looks like and how to get there. This work follows the Kirklees Council Music Policy and earlier research into the music ecology and infrastructure.

The Music Group is currently working on three strands of work to help deliver a ‘year of music’ in 2023. This includes working with Sound Diplomacy to realise the ambition of Kirklees as an emerging music destination; develop a community music audit to gather information on the diverse community music in the district; and consulting with the music sector to create a brand to bring together the music offer and raise the profile of music in Kirklees.

The work with Sound Diplomacy, a global expert in developing long-term and self-sufficient music strategies, will support the district to realise its ambition as an emerging music destination. Sound Diplomacy is supporting the Music Group to showcase its music capabilities in a global context.

Shain Shapiro, CEO of Sound Diplomacy, said: “Places like Kirklees often get overshadowed by larger cities, however, they are bursting with talent, creativity and musicality. By working closely with Kirklees Council and the Music Group, we will help them identify where they excel and advise where they can improve to be able to provide a world-class platform for musical talent and events.”

A community audit is already underway and community music and volunteer groups are being contacted to help gather data and information on the rich and diverse music in the district, from community choirs, brass bands or singing for the brain groups. This will help the Music Group to understand what music goes on in Kirklees, where it is, who the groups are and how activity can to be joined up across the district.

The final strand of the current work involves Bonner & Hindley who have been commissioned, through the recently successful Business Rates Pool bid, to consultant with the music sector and create a brand and narrative to describe what the Kirklees music offer is. This will help to bring Kirklees music together under one banner to raise the profile and celebrate activity in preparation for 2023.

Councillor Graham Turner, Portfolio Holder, said: “Showcasing our music offering shouldn’t just be local. We want to establish world-class music that contributes to the identity, economy and communities of Kirklees. Sound Diplomacy, in particular, bring a level of international expertise to help us achieve our ambition to make Kirklees the place for music, and I am looking forward to working with them, on our ambitious plans, and I am sure we will develop a strong partnership as we work towards 2023”

To find out more about the activity, audits or events around music and 2023 keep a look out on Creative Kirklees and sign up to the weekly newsletter to catch the latest news. Subscribe at

Photo from Grand Northern Ukulele Festival, credit James Millar

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