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BPI unveils proposal to open BRIT School North in Bradford

By | Published on Monday 6 February 2023


UK record industry trade group the BPI this weekend unveiled proposals to launch a new specialist creative school in Yorkshire similar to the existing Croydon-based BRIT School.

The BPI says that its members have long aspired to launch a creative school outside the South East of England, “drawing on the success and experiences of the existing school and further delivering on a strong commitment to make the music industry and the wider creative industries more inclusive and accessible for all – regardless of background”.

To that end, it has submitted an application to the Department For Education’s free school funding process in a bid to win support for a BRIT School North in Bradford. This is a highly competitive process, the BPI admits, but if successful, it’s hoped the new school could open its doors in 2026.

The current BRIT School is free to attend and is supported by the BRIT Trust, the charity established by the record industry in 1989 which raises a big chunk of its money each year via the BRIT Awards and the Music Industry Trust Awards dinner.

As well the BRIT Trust and BRIT School – and the BPI and its members, of course – the proposal for a new school in Bradford is also supported by the Day One Trust, which runs two other specialist creative schools in London, East London Arts & Music and the London Screen Academy.

Confirming the proposal, BPI Chair YolanDa Brown says: “We are incredibly proud of our track record in promoting and funding specialist creative education and this application reflects our ambition to extend this even further across the UK”.

“The creative industries are a powerful force for social mobility, providing opportunities based on ability and talent”, she goes on. “We look forward to building upon the proven success of this model to give a greater number of young people from across the North of England an opportunity to pursue a career in the creative industries – both on stage and behind the scenes”.

“Bradford already has a wonderfully vibrant cultural and creative scene”, she continues. “We are very excited about the benefits of this partnership and how we can contribute to Bradford’s ambitions, but also how this school can continue our work to diversify our talent pipeline by ‘levelling-up’ opportunity, both geographically and socio-economically”.

Former MP and now mayor of West Yorkshire Tracy Brabin is also backing the proposal. She adds: “West Yorkshire is the place to be when it comes to culture and creativity – now so more than ever as we draw closer to Bradford’s year in the spotlight as the UK’s City Of Culture 2025. With vibrant musical venues in abundance and even more in the pipeline, our region is well and truly cementing its place on the world stage as a creative and cultural hotspot”.

Noting Universal’s recent announcement it is opening EMI North in Leeds, Brabin goes on: “With EMI North recently making the decision to invest in West Yorkshire, it goes to show that we’re already punching well above our cultural weight. So, while it’s no surprise, I’m THRILLED that Bradford has been selected as the preferred location for this new school – what an incredible opportunity it would provide for the talented young people of our region and beyond!”