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New £9.5m music institute set for 2020 opening

By Dayna Farrington | Brierley Hill | Education | Published:

Work to transform Brierley Hill's Cable Plaza building into a £9.5 million state-of-the-art music institute is on track for its 2020 opening, bosses have revealed.

Directors Rick Benton and David Barnard at the new music Institute Resonance at Cable Plaza, in Brierley Hill

Contractors Overbury will hand the keys to the former office block, which has been empty for eight years, back to the directors of Resonance by the end of the year.

Co-director of Resonance, David Barnard, said work was progressing well – adding that he couldn't wait to see how things would take shape over the coming weeks and months.

He said: "It is great to see the building changing from what was an old office block into something truly remarkable. Every time I walk into Cable Plaza I see something new the contractors have completed or are working on, which is incredibly exciting.

“We are really seeing the concept created all of all those years ago now becoming reality.”

Artist's impressions of the new Resonance music institute in Brierley Hill

Resonance will be an institute for popular music and will offer degrees for students seeking a career in a range of music industries. There will be a mixture of classrooms, lecture theatres, recording studios, practice rooms and radio studios with some of the best music technology available to students.

The £9.5 million project is not exclusively for students and bosses hope it will become a vital community music hub in the Black Country. Musicians and organisations from across the region will be encouraged to make full use of the facilities on offer.

On a recent visit to the site, Dudley South MP Mike Wood praised the facility and its directors for an "inspiring vision".

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He said: "Not only will this fantastic new music institute provide incredible opportunities for young people to break into the ever-competitive music industry, but having such a world-class higher education institute here in the heart of the Black Country has the potential to transform people’s aspirations and the regeneration of Brierley Hill.

Artist's impressions of the new Resonance music institute in Brierley Hill

“This institute will offer a whole new perspective on studying music for its pupils, who will be able to benefit from state-of-the-art facilities at the Waterfront that will be the envy of many professional studios around the world.

“Directors David Barnard, Rick Benton and Chris Cronin are delivering an inspiring vision and I’d like to thank them for showing me their work at what will become one of the best music institutes in the world.”

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Councillor Ian Kettle, cabinet member for regeneration and enterprise at Dudley Council, added: "Not only will Resonance solidify Dudley borough’s place on the map nationally, it will also bring hundreds of students to the area, resulting in a massive boost for the local and regional economy as a whole.

“The building that is being refurbished for the institute is based in the heart of DY5, Dudley’s Business and Innovation Enterprise Zone, and its exciting new life will serve as a space to educate and stimulate creative minds for many years to come.”

The building is set for completion at the end of 2019 and will be welcoming students for open days and auditions in 2020. Classes will start September 2020.

Dayna Farrington

By Dayna Farrington
Senior reporter based at Wolverhampton

Reporter for the Express & Star based at Wolverhampton.

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