New Brit School North in Bradford gets go-ahead

10 minutes ago
About sharing

Amy Winehouse was one of the most famous and successful gradates of the Brit School in south London before her death aged 27.
By Adam Durbin & John Hand
BBC News

Plans to base a northern version of London’s renowned Brit School in Bradford have been given the go-ahead by the government.

The new Brit School North will be free to attend for 500 pupils aged 16 to 19.

It will offer courses in dance, music and theatre.

The original Brit School in Croydon, south London, opened its doors in 1991 and has helped launch the careers of stars including including Adele, Amy Winehouse, Tom Holland and Jessie J.

The concept is backed by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), and graduates at the London school have collectively sold more than 250 million albums and won 15 Brit awards over the past three decades.

Announcing that the BPI’s plans had been approved, the government said the school will be supported by large music industry firms like Sony Music Entertainment UK, Universal Music UK and Warner Music UK.

No start date is being given at this stage, but when the BPI submitted the plans in February, it said it hoped the school could be opened in 2026.

Bradford, which has a population of 546,000 according to the 2022 census, has one of the most diverse populations in the UK and the BPI said earlier this year that it had an equally vibrant cultural scene.

Music stars to have emerged from the city in the past two decades include former Girls Aloud star Kimberley Walsh, solo star Gareth Gates, former One Direction star Zayn Malik and Bad Boy Chiller Crew, who were nominated for best group at this year’s Brit Awards.

Bad Boy Chiller Crew are nominated for Group of the Year at this year’s Brit Awards
Other big names from Bradford include Zayn Malik, Kiki Dee and Justin Sullivan of New Model Army

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan said the move will mean more young people in the north of England could reach their potential, adding that the government is broadening opportunities so more of our children can “access this springboard to success”.

Jo Twist, who took over as chief executive of the BPI in July, said she was “delighted” with the government’s decision and added: The UK is a world-leader in music and across the creative industries and if we want this to continue, we must invest in talent and the highly transferable skills needed for a competitive economy.

“This school will not only focus on producing our next generation of performers, but crucially train young people with the important technical qualities needed for our industries to thrive and provide them with opportunities that they otherwise might not be able to access.”

Related Topics

More on this story

31 October 2017
5 February