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WaterBear College of Music Partners with The Leadmill

WaterBear has announced the launch of a partnership and scholarship with iconic music venue The Leadmill, to the benefit of students at both its Sheffield and Brighton campuses.


The pioneering music college group has teamed up with The Leadmill to unveil The Leadmill Scholarship Award for a master’s student to receive tuition fees for the MA Music Industry Enterprise degree course, which can be studied at either the Sheffield or Brighton campuses, or online. The MA is aimed at music industry professionals and graduates who want to develop the commercial and entrepreneurial side of their careers.


Additionally, as part of the partnership, other career enriching opportunities will be offered to students by The Leadmill, which has been the mainstay of the Sheffield community and music scene for over 40 years. A former flour mill, The Leadmill was first opened in 1980 as an arts and music venue to provide a cultural space for local people.


WaterBear is passionate about offering their students the opportunity to gain access to rehearsal studios and performance venues alongside teaching spaces across some of the best facilities, creating a rich city-wide campus. Consequently, as well as work experience and performance opportunities WaterBear students will also gain access to The Leadmill as part of their live performance and stagecraft study.


Rose Wilcox, Head of Programming at The Leadmill, provides further insight: “As a venue that is committed to nurturing new and exciting talent, we can’t wait to work with WaterBear and devote time to music education which focusses on celebrating the individual. Through our partnership with WaterBear, alongside the scholarship award we will be offering opportunities to students, be it performing or behind the scenes, and look forward to being part of the journey of the next wave of artists coming out of Sheffield.”


Supportive of new music and the indie artist, The Leadmill has welcomed a rich array of musical genres from new wave, electronic, hip hop through to rock and pop attracting artists from Sheffield, South Yorkshire and around the world. It has played a pivotal role in the careers of many bands and artists, Franz Ferdinand sealed its status by deeming The Leadmill a ‘rite of passage’ for artists. Pulp held their first gig at the venue on 16 August 1980, as stated on the PRS for Music Heritage Award plaque, which is displayed on the wall outside The Leadmill.


Over the years acts such Oasis, Culture Club, The Housemartins, Kasabian, Kate Nash, The Stone Roses, The Killers, Elliot Smith, and The Damned have graced their stage as well as local icons, Def Leppard, Pulp, Artic Monkeys, Richard Hawley, Self Esteem, Reverend and The Makers, and The Book Club. Today The Leadmill continues to support music and the arts through a rich diary of live gigs, club nights, comedy shows, theatre and film.


Eve Massad, Marketing Director at WaterBear comments: “Our partnership with The Leadmill together with our arrival in Sheffield is a key step in WaterBear’s history. It will enable us to illustrate to our students, the artists and musicians of tomorrow, the importance of live music and the creative arts through far-reaching work experience and live performance opportunities. We are so grateful to be welcomed into the music community in Sheffield and to work with amazing organisations such as The Leadmill. Through these partnerships we hope to provide unique opportunities for our students alongside supporting the local music and arts ecosystem, and the local community.”


WaterBear offers BA (Hons) degree and master’s courses made for today’s musicians, artists and industry professionals. The college has built an unrivalled reputation for its dedication to specialist one-to-one mentoring, focused class sizes, flexible course delivery and exclusive career development opportunities. WaterBear colleges are based in the heart of Brighton and Sheffield, and also offers a range of online distance learning courses too.

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A full house at The Leadmill for the culmination of the 2022 Sheffield Music Trails festival (Matt Wesson photography, 02.04.22)

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