£31m Black Country Music College To Open Within Two Years

A new, state-of-the0art music college iss set to open its doors in 2018, council chiefs have revealed.

The facility is expected to cater for more than 700 students and will be backed by Manchester Metropolitan University, who will ratify some of the courses. Council bosses said the new music institute will help rejuvenate The Waterfront Business Park and labelled it 'a world class higher education' facility.

Chiefs further revealed plans are progressing well for the scheme, which will also see a music village or campus created at the Waterfront with the college at its heart. Councillor Khurshid Ahmed, cabinet member for planning and economic development at Dudley Council said:

"We're very excited by the scheme as we believe it offers a big positive for the region. It offers advantages in terms of education, music and also for allowing students the chance to come and use residential areas nearby. It really ticks all the boxes.

"There's a serious effort being made to get this through and that's why the local authority is willing to contribute this £25,000 grant funding. If this happens - and I'm confident that it will - then it will be a big plus for the area."

Council documents set out the scheme's credentials, saying that:

"The BICMP project will create a world-class higher education music institute at the Waterfront Business Park in Brierley Hill. This will include the purchase and refurbishment of an existing building - and the construction of new student accommodation.

"The long-term plan is to create a music ‘village’ or ‘campus’ with the institute at its heart driving innovation, enterprise and research. A feasibility study is currently underway to identify a suitable building and project costs.

"Manchester Metropolitan University will provide degree validation, quality assurance, staff development, guidance on academic infrastructure and student support services for the Music Institute. It is expected that 600 undergraduates and 115 postgraduates will be recruited."

When the project was announced earlier this year, David Barnard - who will lead the institute as its principal and chief executive officer - said Brierley Hill was the ideal venue for the college.

“We looked at lots of different places across the West Midlands, but Brierley Hill and the Waterfront stood out head and shoulders above the rest,” Mr Barnard said.

“The Black Country and its surrounding regions have a proud and diverse musical legacy and it’s something we’re passionate about reigniting."

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