Sunderland’s Young Musicians Strike a Chord with New Funding Boost

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Sunderland BID hits the right note with young musicians project

The Sunderland BID has provided financial support from a UK Shared Prosperity Fund grant to enable We Make Culture to launch an additional Young Musicians Project group, expanding opportunities for local youth to develop musical skills and confidence. This funding will help increase pride in the Sunniside area and reduce antisocial behaviour by engaging more young people in creative activities.


Young people from across Sunderland will now have more opportunities to make their musical mark, thanks to support from Sunderland BID.

We Make Culture’s Young Musicians Project has been running for five years, helping 13-19-year-olds work with professional musicians to write songs and music and generally grow their skills.

Around 45 young musicians a week are part of the project which runs from Field Music Studio at Villiers Street, organised by Sunniside-based We Make Culture, which connects young people and helps build their confidence as well as their musical expertise.

And next month (June 3) an additional group will be launched, running every Monday which has already had 15 young people signed up to take part.

The BID successfully won £202,253 from UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) which is being used to deliver a range of initiatives in and around Sunniside with the aim of “building pride in place and a sense of a community.”

And because of this fund, the BID has been able to give financial support to WMC to launch the additional Young Musicians Project group.

Sharon Appleby, Chief Executive of Sunderland BID is delighted to be able to help the scheme develop.

“We hope that by supporting the programme, we will help get more young people involved in activities that increase pride in the area and reduce antisocial behaviour in the Sunniside area,” she said.

“The scheme offers a fantastic opportunity for young people with a passion for music to work with professional musicians and boost both their skills and their confidence.”

Along with the support from the BID, the scheme is receiving funding from SCOPS Arts Trust and partners with music venue Pop Recs, which hosts 3 YMP socials each year.

Other key music venues in the city including The Bunker and the Independent both work closely with the project, as part of a commitment to supporting a citywide music sector.

Laura Brewis, Project Director of We Make Culture CIC, expressed her thanks for the BID’s support.

“We are grateful to Sunderland BID for their sponsorship of Young Musicians project, which will enable us to open up a third group supporting young people to start playing, writing and performing music together,” she said.

“Our current YMP groups have been oversubscribed for some time, so we are very excited to be able to extend the opportunity to more young people in the city.

“It is really important to YMP that we work with professional music venues and studios in the city to link young people into all of the creative activities going on here, so we are looking forward to working with our neighbours in Sunniside, such as Pop Recs, Port Independent and Sun Loft Studios too.”

The UKSPF has been used to support a number of initiatives in Sunniside, including events such as Chinese New Year, the regular Sunniside Food Markets and the installation of festoon lighting and wrapping the trees in lights to improve the look of the area.