The BPI, the representative voice for record companies across the UK, has today unveiled proposals to launch a specialist creative school in the north of England.
The school, provisionally named BRIT School North, is inspired by the successful model of the BRIT School in Croydon, which is free to attend and has a long list of notable alumni, including Adele, Amy Winehouse, Raye and FKA twigs. The school would be located in Bradford, Yorkshire.
The BPI has submitted a bid to the Department of Education’s free school funding process, ‘Wave-15’, to open a specialist 16-19 college in the centre of Bradford. The vocational curriculum is expected to offer both performance and skills-based subjects across music, theatre, digital design and production arts. If the bid is approved, the school would be projected to open in 2026.
The BPI hopes the school can increase opportunities to pursue careers in the creative industries for young people in the north. Pupils from around West Yorkshire and beyond will be able to attend as well as those resident in Bradford.
Bradford was chosen as the location as a means to boost the city’s emerging creative economy. The city has also been chosen as City of Culture 2025, and the hope is that the school will the school will help to deliver on the legacy commitment of the City of Culture status and contribute to Bradford’s 10-year cultural strategy. The proposals have the approval of West Yorkshire’s devolved mayor, Tracy Brabin.
Yolanda Brown, chair of the BPI, said: “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. 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. 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.”
Meanwhile, Tracy Brabin added: “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. 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!”
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