The BPI has announced proposals to launch a specialist creative school in the North of England, provisionally called BRIT School North.
The BPI has submitted a bid to the Department for Education’s free school funding process, Wave-15, to open the specialist college for 16 to 19-year-olds in Bradford.
The school will be designed to provide an opportunity for students across West Yorkshire and the wider region to study in an environment solely dedicated to creative learning. Aimed at young people looking to pursue a career in the creative sector, the school’s curriculum is expected to cover both performance and skills-based subjects across music, theatre, digital design and production arts.
If approved, the school will be one of 15 schools to be granted funding through this round, and will be on course to open in 2026.
Based on the model of the BRIT School in Croydon, BRIT School North will be free to attend and aimed at making the music and wider creative industries more inclusive and accessible for everyone. The project sees collaborations between the BPI, the BRIT school, Sony Music, Universal Music, Warner Music and the Day One Trust which runs specialist creative schools, East London Arts & Music and the London Screen Academy.
Sony, Universal and Warner will also be contributing an initial amount of additional funding towards the school, which is expected to be used to fund the purchase of equipment.
Bradford has been awarded City of Culture 2025, and, if approved, BRIT School North is aimed to contribute to Bradford’s 10-year cultural strategy, which places the creative industries at the heart of the economy.
“We are incredibly proud of our track record in promoting and funding specialist creative education and this application reflects our ambition to extend this even further across the UK,” said YolanDa Brown OBE DL, chair of the BPI. “The creative industries are a powerful force for social mobility, providing opportunities based on ability and talent. We look forward to building upon the proven success of this model to give a greater number of young people from across the North of England an opportunity to pursue a career in the creative industries – both on stage and behind the scenes.”
Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin said: “With vibrant musical venues in abundance, and even more in the pipeline, our region is well and truly cementing its place on the world stage as a creative and cultural hotspot. With EMI North recently making the decision to invest in West Yorkshire, it goes to show that we’re already punching well above our cultural weight. So, while it’s no surprise, I’m thrilled that Bradford has been selected as the preferred location for this new school – what an incredible opportunity it would provide for the talented young people of our region and beyond!”
“As one of the leading talent development organisations in Bradford, and cultural capacity partner to Bradford City of Culture, Bradford Producing Hub are delighted to hear the news that a new specialist creative school modelled on the BRIT School might be opening in Bradford,” added Lisa Mallaghan, director of Bradford Producing Hub.
Jordon Scott Kennedy, programming and engagement producer of The Unit also said: “The Unit believes that this new specialist school based on the very successful BRIT School could help bring new talents to our community and also the practical opportunities they deserve to further develop their skills and share Bradford’s culture with the world.”