Future Yard and Wirral Metropolitan College have announced plans to align in a strategic partnership as part of their shared regeneration vision for Birkenhead. The partnership will create meaningful pathways to employment and offer opportunities beyond study for young people and adult learners, enhancing students’ social and cultural wellbeing whilst creating a flagship relationship between the Wirral’s most exciting cultural organisation and leading further education institution.
Since opening in 2021, Future Yard has reimagined a live music venue as a learning opportunity for young people. By utilising skills and training programmes to nurture the talent of young creatives, Future Yard creates clear routes to careers in the music industry, providing transferable skills and raising aspirations for local people. By utilising the power of music Birkenhead will change for the better, creating life-changing opportunities and shaping a new music future.
As the largest provider of post-16 learning on the Wirral peninsula, and with five campuses across the Wirral, Wirral Met is perfectly positioned to partner with one of the UKs boldest arts organisations who are able to offer support via a highly-experienced team who have years of experience in the music industry, from PR to publishing and beyond.
Future Yard opens up opportunities to students across a diverse range of creative courses, such as photography, creative and digital media, illustration, marketing and more.
Illustration students from Wirral Met have already taken the chance to engage with Future Yard, creating work based on briefs by touring international artists performing at the venue to design screen prints which have been sold and displayed at gigs. Students from the college’s music courses recently performed at Future Yard in a student-led performance as part of the college’s Eurovision celebrations.
Mathew Ryan, Business Development Manager at Wirral Met, expresses his enthusiasm for the strategic partnership, stating, "This collaboration marks an exciting milestone in our commitment to providing comprehensive educational pathways. By merging Future Yard's innovative approach to music education with Wirral Met's extensive resources, we're fostering a dynamic environment that empowers students to embrace their creative potential. Together, we're not only shaping careers but also cultivating a vibrant cultural landscape in Birkenhead."
Future Yard’s pioneering Sound Check programme, run in partnership with The Learning Foundry, introduces young people to the skills and training needed to pursue careers in the live music industry. Based at the venue, the programme focuses on two areas; technical production and live music event management, providing young people with the knowledge and skills to become sound engineers, lighting designers, event managers and more.
Live music is a vital tool as a means to improving wellbeing, social cohesion, aspiration, critical thinking, and happiness. By providing Wirral Met with an allocation of free tickets for students and removing cost as a barrier to attendance, students in the region will be given the opportunity to engage with cultural events spanning genres from jazz to contemporary classical to rock.
Through the partnership, music students will also join Propeller, the industry-leading artist development programme based out of Future Yard, which equips early-career musicians with the skills to succeed in the modern industry. Through Propeller, Future Yard provides an infrastructure for talent to grow, and creative communities to blossom within our neighbourhood, allowing young music enthusiasts to make their first steps in an exciting career in live music.
Mika Haasler, Future Yard’s Business + Partnerships Development Manager, says, “This partnership is an excellent demonstration of shared vision and belief, wanting to transform prospects for young people in Birkenhead, ultimately achieving positive social change. It’s so important that young people are both exposed to and given the opportunity to engage with music and all the different career opportunities it brings. Through this partnership, we hope students will gain agency, confidence, and aspiration to forge their own bright futures, with skill sets that can carry them into the music industry and beyond.”