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Mayor Of London Opens The Talent House - A Brand New Creative Hub

The new hub will equip young diverse talent in east London to become the next generation of music and dance.

Mayor Of London Opens The Talent House - A Brand New Creative Hub

The Talent House, a new £4.1 million state-of-the-art creative hub from East London Dance and leading national youth music organisation, UD, has officially been opened in Stratford by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.

The new hub will equip young diverse talent in east London to become the next generation of music and dance professionals by providing free and affordable access to world class facilities as a launchpad to reach new audiences, alongside facilitating collaboration between young people and early career creatives and producers.

The five-year capital project, launched with initial funding from Arts Council England and the Greater London Authority (GLA), brings East London Dance and UD together under one roof. The Talent House will welcome more than 12,000 people every year with an inspirational public programme, co-curated with young people, artists and local residents.

Equipping young diverse talent in east London to become the next generation of music and dance professionals

The Talent House will enable the two organisations, both long-standing champions of the next generation of artists, entrepreneurs and creative leaders, to support even more outstanding but under-represented talent. From schools outreach and skills programmes to industry networks and professional development opportunities, East London Dance and UD will continue to nurture the confidence of young creatives and support them to build sustainable careers, acting as a pivotal player in the talent development pipeline of the next generation of music and dance professionals.

Providing free and affordable access to world class facilities as a launchpad for young creatives to reach new audiences

With professional rehearsal spaces and digital broadcast capability throughout the building, brand new creations and collaborations from bold, authentic and blazingly contemporary east London dance and music creatives will have a vital launchpad to reach new audiences locally, nationally and internationally. More than 2,100 hours of free access to the building with its facilities will be made available to locally-based independent artists and young participants every year.

Facilitating collaboration between young people and early career creatives and producers

An engine room for creativity, the Talent House will create opportunities for early career and more established dance and music artists and professionals to connect with one another, to be inspired and create, as well as encouraging the cross-pollination of talent, ideas, conversation and performance between art forms.

Designed by Waugh Thistleton with internal design by award-winning architect Katy Marks from Citizens Design Bureau, and located within a new development by Vastint UK, the three-storey building housed in an historic warehouse with a modern extension was repurposed by specialist fit-out contractors ITC. The building comprises two dance studios, five music production/recording studios, a live room and two vocal booths, a large flexible rehearsal/events space and a tech lab for education and training. The design also includes a co-working space for artists and members, and a central atrium functioning as the main reception and multi-use space for dance jams and informal gigs.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: "Culture is at the heart of what makes London the greatest city in the world, which is why I'm delighted to officially open Talent House. London's music and dance scene is thriving, but these companies need a home to nurture and support talent, so I'm proud to have invested in this state of the art facility, which will not only be a springboard for creatives and performers in Newham and across the city, but help to cement London as the creative capital of the world. Investment like this is essential for our city's recovery and a key part of building a better London for everyone."

Tia Hassan & Kate Scanlan, Joint Creative Director & Chief Executive, East London Dance said: "For more than three decades, East London Dance has played a central role in the development of dance in east London - nurturing, showcasing and championing young and emerging artists and creatives from black, Asian, ethnically diverse and working-class communities. With the Talent House, our first dedicated home, we are energised like never before to create a world where creative talent is always met with opportunity, no matter where you come from. We're committed to artist-led and co-designed programmes and to ensuring that the Talent House is a welcoming and open space for people to gather, connect, learn, collaborate and share their creativity with the world - so come and get involved."

Pamela McCormick, Founder and CEO, UD said: "Over the last 20+ years, UD has seen the potential for excellence in every young person we've encountered. Talent is everywhere, but opportunity is not. We know that the specific training needs demanded of Black music are not met by music education; there is a lack of strategic talent development in Black music, with many artists unable to achieve sustainable careers without subsidised intervention; and, whilst Black music has never been more commercially successful in the UK, only a small percentage of the workforce is from communities experiencing racial inequality or barriers to social mobility. As we move into the Talent House, we are poised to realise the potential that this new state-of-the-art resource can bring to transforming the lives of young people, challenging the outdated traditions of music education, and diversifying the face of the music industry."

Michael Cronin, Head of UK Portfolio, Vastint said "We are delighted to welcome UD Music back to Sugar House Island, alongside East London Dance, to create a place which will support and inspire the local community. It is fitting that this partnership comes together under the roof of a building which has witnessed the Island's long-standing history of creativity and collaboration and we look forward to playing host to upcoming talent from across the capital."




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