West Midlands Music Board launches in UK
The West Midlands Music Board (WMMB), a new body designed to serve as a collective voice for the music industry in the West Midlands region, has launched in England.
Led by Nick Reed of B:Music (formerly THSH), the charity which runs Birmingham’s Symphony Hall (2,262-seat) and Town Hall (1,086-seat) venues, WMMB also counts NEC Group’s Guy Dunstan, promoter Danni Brownsill, Birmingham Pride organiser Lawrence Barton and Academy Music Group’s Louise Stamp as board members.
Created in response to the prolonged shutdown due to the pandemic, the West Midlands Music Board will advocate for, compile data on, and lead the local music sector, which supports more than 3,500 jobs.
Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi, along with Lady Leshurr and Joan Armatrading one of several local artists supporting the WMMB, comments: “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 will cover the whole of the West Midlands, including Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Herefordshire, Sandwell, Shropshire, Solihull, Staffordshire, Stoke on Trent, Telford and Wrekin, Walsall, Warwickshire, Wolverhampton and Worcestershire.
“There has never been a more important time to unite”
In alphabetical order, WMMB board members are:
- Lawrence Barton – Venue manager, organiser of Pride Festival in Birmingham
- Danni Brownsill – Regional representative for Music Venue Trust, runs the Sugarmill in Stoke on Trent
- Guy Dunstan –NEC Group MD for ticketing and arenas (The Ticket Factory, Resorts World Arena, Utilita Arena Birmingham)
- Bobby Friction – Radio broadcaster, BBC Asian Network
- Holly Hollister – founder of Selextorhood and co-director of Babmag, DJ, promoter
- Pete Jordan – MD, Made Festival and Weird Science
- Alicja Kaczmarek – Founder and director, Centrala, independent arts venue
- Lisa Meyer – Home of Metal and Capsule
- Sarah Morgan – Tin Music and Arts in Coventry
- Nick Reed – WMMB chair and CEO of B:Music
- Reuben Reynolds – Artist, producer, band leader, arranger, director and teacher
- Despa Robinson – Talent manager, founder and director of BE83 Music
- Louise Stamp – General manager of O2 Academy Birmingham/O2 Institute Birmingham (Academy Music Group)
“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,” comments Reed. “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. […] 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.”
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