A pound;1.5 MILLION music training centre has opened in central Manchester, offering accredited courses to 16- to 19-year-old students and adults hoping to work as performers, technicians and producers.
Trafford College, which was formed by the merger of North Trafford and South Trafford colleges on September 1, has paired up with the city's independent radio station 96.2 The Revolution to create the Music Centre.
It has started with 120 16-year-olds, 50 adults on access to music courses and 30 adults studying for foundation degrees.
Music is one of the faster growing British industries and the college will also offer courses for musicians who want to give tuition.
Bill Moorcroft, the principal and formerly head of South Trafford College, says the intention is to give people a chance of a stable career in a professionalised industry.
The Music Centre, which has an annual budget of pound;750,000, features two purpose-built recording studios, six rehearsal rooms, technology suites and lecture rooms.
Peter Hook, former bass player with New Order and Joy Division, and Mani, bass player with Primal Scream and previously The Stone Roses, have agreed to support the college and have already got their teeth into it by tearing the ribbon to open the centre last week.
Mani, who has a show on The Revolution which has a reputation for playing unsigned bands will be featuring some music by the centre's fledgling performers.
The project is supported by Access to Music, which provides the curriculum structure for music courses and has powerful backers in the industry, including George Martin, the former Beatles' producer, and musician and presenter Jools Holland.