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UD’s new London home Talent House launches

By | Published on Wednesday 6 July 2022


Talent House – the new creative hub in Stratford set up by East London Dance and music development organisation UD – formally opened yesterday.

The centre – which includes an assortment of studios, plus event and co-working spaces – will be the base for much of UD’s work supporting early-career music talent. That includes new and existing programmes and courses focused on music-making, music entrepreneurialism and music industry careers. The current series of UD Industry Takeover Seminars – co-hosted by CMU:DIY – is already taking place in the complex.

Explaining where UD fits in and how the new Talent House complex will boost the organisation’s work, Founder and CEO Pamela McCormick says: “Over the last 20 plus 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”, she adds. “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”, she goes on, “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potential that this new state-of-the-art resource can bring to transforming the lives of young people, challenging the outdated traditions of music education, and diversifying the face of the music industry”.

London mayor Sadiq Khan officially opened the new building and says of the venture: “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”, he continues. “Investment like this is essential for our city’s recovery and a key part of building a better London for everyone”.

Last’s night’s official launch also saw Ray BLK confirmed as UD’s first ambassador, she having previously been involved in the organisation’s Flames Collective programme, which offers young people access to support and expertise in writing, performing and recording music.

Says the musician: “Being an ambassador for UD is an absolute honour. It’s a pleasure to be a part of the amazing work the organisation does for young people. I’ve performed before with The Flames Collective and so I know how UD supports young black musicians and helps develop their incredible gifts”.

“The Talent House is going to be huge for East London”, she adds, “and the state of the art facilities that people will have access to will be a game changer for them. It’s an exciting time for black music and I know that with the commitment and passion from the team at UD, the Talent House is going to play a big role in creating opportunities and connections for young people and I’m so proud to be a part of it”.