AIM is excited to announce a bold new initiative that will support a number of key regions outside of London to provide its members with resources and expertise.
Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, AIM is launching a ‘Regional Champions’ initiative, which will see three regional hubs created in the North of England, Northern Ireland and Scotland. More regions will be rolled out in due course.
Each of the three initial regions will have an ‘Ambassador’ and a ‘Champion’ who will be tasked with creating strong local networks among the independent music companies in their areas and providing support, expertise and access to resources.
AIM will support the good work already happening locally by partnering on excellent local events such as Wide Days in Edinburgh, Unconference in Leeds and Output Belfast, while also bringing AIM Socials and AIM Academy events to the regional hubs, equipping self-releasing artists and both small and established rightsholders with the knowledge and skills to grow sustainable businesses.
This comes after AIM launched its ‘Regional Bursaries’ earlier this year, which saw a number of delegate passes to our brand new flagship conferences, AIM Sync and AIM Connected, offered to members based outside London with some of their costs covered.
The AIM Regional Champions joining the AIM team are as follows:
North of England
Tony Morley – Leaf Label (Ambassador)
Sam ‘Whiskas’ Nicholls – Music:Leeds (Champion)
Lyndon Stephens – Champion Sound Music (Ambassador)
Francesca O’Connor – Quiet Arch (Champion)
Michael Lambert – A Modern Way (Champion)
Regional Ambassador for Scotland – to be confirmed.
Jude McArdle, Membership Manager of AIM said, “AIM is committed to supporting independent music creators and businesses across the UK, which is why we are thrilled to introduce this new initiative. We are passionate about supporting music communities throughout the UK and the three regions spearheading the launch have a long history of producing incredible music. This is not just lip service; AIM is not simply parachuting into Leeds , Edinburgh or Belfast and then heading straight back to London, we want to help cultivate local scenes. Our new Regional Ambassadors and Champions have been chosen because they are acknowledged experts in their local areas and we’re delighted they’re joining the AIM team. They will allow us to benefit from their local knowledge and excellent reputations while contributing their experience to help build strong networks, which in turn will help music makers turn their creativity into a career and independent music businesses grow.”
Lyndon Stephens, Director of Champion Sound Music and AIM’s Regional Ambassador for Northern Ireland said, “Having realized for years what a valuable resource of lobbying power, knowledge and contacts that AIM UK is, I think that it is a wonderful thing that AIM will have representation on this new scale outside of London. The democratization of music distribution that has occurred has caused a growth of micro businesses all across the country, it’s great that they can all now tap into this valuable organization.”
Former AIM board member Tony Morley, Founder of the Yorkshire based Leaf Label and Regional Ambassador for the North of England said, “Leaf has been a member of AIM since 2001. I’ve long been a believer in the power of an independent collective, and we’ve seen direct benefits from the initiatives that AIM has launched over the years. The independent music community is thriving outside of London with new businesses launching all the time. It’s great that AIM is now putting a particular focus on this work and ensuring that entrepreneurs and music creators are given the tools, resources and access to expertise to help them grow and take their work to the next level.”
Michael Lambert of A Modern Way and Regional Champion for Scotland said, “There is a wealth of great music being made across a diverse range of genres in Scotland, with more independent music businesses than ever helping to release and support it. As the UK body for the independent music sector, it’s great to see AIM increase their Scottish presence, while continuing to engage with the events and organisations working to help independent music thrive here.”