Cardiff has been officially declared the UK’s first Music City by global music agency Sound Diplomacy, which will see work begin immediately to protect its live music venues and up its profile as a musical hotbed on the international stage.
It is hoped that the Welsh capital will now take a leading role in highlighting the wide ranging benefits music can bring to a city. The music industry currently contributes some £4.4 billion to the UK economy and employs over 140,000 people.
Ahead of yesterday’s (December 14) unveiling of Cardiff as a Music City, the Welsh capital’s council said rhat it would buy a derelict building next to Clwb Ifor Bach in order to safeguard the street’s music venues from potential unsuitable residential developments, according to Wales Online.
Council Leader, Cllr Huw Thomas, said: “We all know that Wales is a musical nation, and as the capital city, I believe Cardiff has a huge role to play in celebrating and promoting this. Music is an incredibly powerful force for good in our everyday lives, but more than this, it has the power to shape cities, particularly ones with the distinctive cultural offering that we have here in Cardiff.
“That’s why this announcement is such great news, not just for musicians and concert-goers, but for everyone who wants to see Cardiff develop its international profile, make the most of its potential and become a truly great world capital.”
Sound Diplomacy CEO Shain Shapiro said: “It’s an honour and a responsibility to be working with Cardiff Council to add up, measure and assess the music infrastructure across the city. The council have shown through their efforts on Womanby Street and their increased engagement on music that to them, music is of economic, social and cultural benefit to the city. We take this incredibly seriously, and will work to develop a music policy that musicians, businesses and residents can benefit from and be proud of.”
Cllr Thomas added: “Wales has long been known as a land of song, so it is only right that music is placed at the heart of its capital city. Cardiff has an incredibly rich musical heritage and you only have to visit the city during Swn Festival, spend a night out on Womanby Street, or at St David’s Hall in the company of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, to know that it also has an exciting musical future.”
Yesterday, Conservative MP David Warburton, chair of the All Party Group (APPG) on Music, has urged senior Ministers to back the Agent Of Change principle, a new law aimed at protecting live music venues.