The first-ever West Midlands Music Board has been launched by Culture Centre as a way of ensuring the sector’s voice is heard.
And it has already been backed by the likes of Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi and rapper Lady Leshurr who are both from Birmingham.
Nick Reed, chair of the board and CEO of B:Music, said: “The board aims to represent a unique identity, by placing music and the wider night-time economy in the West Midlands at the heart of national and regional strategy.
“We will work to ensure that decisions around investment, training, planning and skills allow our incredible music sector to flourish and grow, creating jobs and sustainable careers here in the West Midlands.
“A key part of our work will be ensuring that these careers are open and inclusive to all. From the national levelling up agenda to local transport policy, the WMMB will speak with a unified voice for music in the region.
“We are coming together at a time when the postponement of Stage 4 is causing profound and extended hardship for everyone in our sector.
“There has never been a more important time to unite, and I am delighted to chair the board, and to be working with such a talented group of people.”
The board will operate independently and will cover the whole of the West Midlands – including Wolverhampton, Walsall, Sandwell, Dudley, Birmingham, Staffordshire, Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin and other locations.
Lady Leshurr, from Kingshurst in Birmingham, said: “There is an amazing music scene in the West Midlands, and we need to shout about it more. We need investment, training and opportunities for our talent to break through.
“It’s great to see this board come together to make that happen.”
The board includes NEC Group managing director Guy Dunstan, Louise Stamp who is the general manager of O2 Academy and O2 Institute in Birmingham, along with the regional representative for Music Venues Trust Danni Brownsill among others. Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi added: “The West Midlands has an incredible musical history, and it is still bursting with new talent.
“I’m pleased to see this new board come together to make sure that music is recognised as a key part of the economy and gets the chance to thrive.”
The WMMB is aiming to champion the region’s music industry and has four key objectives – economic growth and recovery, inclusion, representation and advocacy – and plans to work with councils, institutions and the Government to make it possible.