Burnham pledges to be a Mayor for Manchester music

Mayoral candidate calls "music summit" to gather ideas on how the new Mayor can support the music scene in Greater Manchester.

Andy Burnham is today meeting key figures from Greater Manchester's music industry at Band On The Wall to discuss how the new Mayor could best support live music across the city-region.

The summit will discuss some of the challenges facing the music industry in Greater Manchester, including live venues, rehearsal space and transport. 

Speaking at the meeting, former Culture Secretary Andy Burnham will suggest a number of ideas for possible inclusion in his manifesto, including:

- Support for live venues to maintain Manchester's reputation as the live music capital of the UK

- Later running public transport from the city centre to support events in the city and to allow people to get home from gigs

- Developing new studio and rehearsal space in local communities, in partnership with funding bodies and local councils

- New events to showcase up-and-coming local bands and an annual "live music week" across the whole of Greater Manchester

- Establishing a permanent Mayor's Music Network to provide advice on an on-going basis

 Andy Burnham said:

"I count myself very lucky to have been around this city in the 1980s and to have seen the big names live at many of its venues. I am still a regular today as, like many parents of a certain age, my kids are re-educating me in what is happening now and dragging me out of my musical rut.

"In some ways, not much has changed from the 1980s: I still have to miss the encore to get the last train home from Oxford Road! But, in other ways, everything has changed. Today it is harder for new acts to get known, break through and make a living from music.

"It is great to see how Manchester's music scene has constantly reinvented itself over the years and, as a result, continues to thrive. But I think there is more that can be done to support it and build on its strengths. There is no room for complacency: we need to keep working hard to ensure there is a thriving music scene at every level and in all parts of Greater Manchester.

"That is why I have called this music summit today. If elected as Mayor, I will always have an open door for representatives of Greater Manchester's music industry and will work with them to maintain our reputation as the music capital of the country."