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Hitting the right notes in the Midlands
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Image credit: Mr Wilson’s Second Liners at Appetite’s Big Feast 2015 © Andrew Billington

Hitting the right notes in the Midlands

Our analysis of the strengths & challenges of music in the Midlands is published

Jonathan Todd

Chief Economist

Jonathan is an economist with over a decade’s experience in impact assessment and evaluation, and high-level policy experience, particularly within the cultural and creative sectors.

Jonathan Todd - Chief Economist | BOP Consulting

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Arts Council England


Projects Sectors

Music from the Midlands has influenced, inspired and entertained audiences across the world. On behalf Arts Council England, we were commissioned to explore challenges facing music in the Midlands in relation to talent development, music ecology and touring, with a focus on four genres (contemporary, folk, jazz, world).

We found:

  • Music makes a direct economic contribution of over 6,600 jobs and £230m in Gross Value Added (GVA) annually to the Midlands

  • Sector responses indicated that there might be some challenges around available rehearsal space, performance venues, as well as music managers and booking agents in the region

  • The stock of music venues is declining more rapidly in the Midlands than elsewhere in the UK

  • Strengthened music networks can help by sharing expertise and advocacy

  • While, for example, the Coventry Music Network and the West Midlands Jazz Network are examples of developing place- and genre-based networks, such formal networks seem less well-established in the Midlands than elsewhere.

Data recently released by the Mayor of London indicates that the number of grassroots music venues in the capital has increased. This suggests that targeted support can grow musical impact. While music already has considerable impact upon the Midlands, there is potential for this to grow, not least via stronger music networks.

Full analysis and our recommendations found in our report can be downloaded below.

As part of this research, we formed an advisory group and ran a survey of musicians and music organisations, receiving a total of 484 respondents. We also conducted two focus groups with a cross section of music organisations in the East and West Midlands, and undertook a data / literature analysis to explore these challenges. We have also built a directory of musicians and music organisations in the Midlands to help facilitate networking. This directory will remain open till 2 August and can be completed here.

For more on BOP’s Research and Evaluation work, see here.

On behalf Arts Council England, we were commissioned to explore challenges facing music in the Midlands in relation to talent development, music ecology and touring, with a focus on four genres (contemporary, folk, jazz, world).

Project Report

Midlands Music Research and Consultation – Final Report

Building on our contribution to the second edition of the report in 2018, BOP has led as the Data and Research partner on this report to help find out how policies can protect people working in the creative and cultural sectors.

UNESCO's Re|Shaping Policies for Creativity Report – Addressing culture as a global public good


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Leveraging the creative potential of Downtown Kingston through technology

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Culture: The cornerstone of the UK’s high streets

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Opportunities and Challenges of AI for the Cultural and Creative Industries

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A History of Bright Ideas: 90 Years of the RSA Student Design Awards

The Royal Society for Arts (RSA)

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Based on our impact analysis we estimate $750 billion in lost GVA for the CCI as a result of the pandemic so far.

Economic impact of COVID-19 on the Cultural and Creative Industries


Our analysis of the strengths & challenges of music in the Midlands is published

Hitting the right notes in the Midlands

Arts Council England

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International working builds stronger heritage sector at home

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Reading is for life, not just for August

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Review of the Scottish Animation Sector

Creative Scotland

UK-wide study of visitor experience practice provides new benchmarks for cultural and visitor attractions

Sharing Operations and Visitor Experience insight


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Jonathan Todd - Chief Economist | BOP Consulting

Jonathan Todd

Chief Economist