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Artist Development
Programme 2024

Artist Development Programme 2024

In 2024, Actual Music led an artist development programme, supported by Arts Council England, with the aim of helping Lancashire-based artists to develop a professional portfolio of audio & visual assets and upskill artists in commercialising their practice through promotion and live performance.

The following outcomes were delivered:

  • 1 x Single Recorded & Mixed At Our Studio, Development Of EPK, Distribution & Marketing
  • 1 x Live Lounge Style Video
  • 1 x Live Showcase At The Grand Venue In Clitheroe Summer 2024
  • 1 x Live Multi-Cam Video From The Showcase Performance
  • Delivered Workshops From Industry Professionals On Promotion And Revenue Streams
  • Working online resource library & artists toolkit 
  • Established peer network

As part of the project, participants had the opportunity to network and collaborate with each other creatively, as well as work with facilitators to deliver workshops to young people in the region.

Artist Interviews

Artist Featured Posts

Live Lounge Youtube

Interview with Managing Director about the programme:

SoundCloud Playlist:

Singles will be released as part of a release cycle between June and September 2024.

In the press

Selected artist achievements, while in the artist development phase of the programme:

    • Katie Nicholas – launched ‘Songwriter Diaries’ YouTube series to acclaim throughout the first part of 2024

    • The NonStick Pans – supported The Hoosiers, hit 110k followers on Instagram

    • British Birds – released debut album, regular play on BBC 6 Music with live session at BBC studios


When asked ‘How satisfied were you with the quality of the outcomes of the assets produced as part of the programme (single, videos, images etc)’ the aggregate score was 40/40.

When asked ‘How well do you think the following elements of the project supported your artistic development?  (scale of 1 (slightly) to 5 (significantly))’ the average scores were as follows:

  • Training Day 1 (guest speakers & information based): 4.8
  • Training Day 2 (project based): 4.7
  • Production of a single: 4.8
  • Live music video: 4.8
  • EPK Development: 4.3
  • Ongoing support & resources from AM team: 4.7
  • WhatsApp group & peer support: 4.5
  • Community Engagement: 3.9
  • Ripple Effect events: 4.8

Artist Comments:


“Thank you so much for the opportunities & experiences offered over the last 6 months. It has given me a massive sense of focus with where I need to take my project next, and how I should go about doing so, not to mention lots of material for my project in the finished single and video. It’s been brilliant working with a great team and a fantastic group of artists, and I am very grateful.” Naut


“Joining a creative community of Lancashire based artists has not only been incredibly encouraging but absolutely crucial to my development as an artist.” – Pete Rugman, The NonStick Pans


“Amongst the many things I have learnt within this wonderful programme, I found that Actual Music are completely dedicated and passionate about supporting their artists in every way they can! They fully understand each step of the creative process and see the areas artists often miss but are essential for their success. Whether it’s organising and bringing together an environment where artists can create, record and film their work comfortably, provide practical industry help, or put on a show that leaves a local community walking away feeling completely inspired, AM manages to make artists feel good about the work they’re creating, while reminding and showing them that there IS a way to navigate this ever-changing industry and it’s all worth it!” Katie Nicholas


“Before I joined this program my relationship with my own creativity had become overly complex. I was waiting for the motivation to develop myself artistically. The information and support to create and stay focused on real goals have motivated me to get back on the train. As the environment is so open and validating on the program I have now fallen back in love with creating and feel more confidence, both in my work and abilities, to get my creations out there. It has been a pivotal moment in my life, reconnecting me with my inner, musical voice. I feel like maybe I’m just getting started but that just getting started is the best place to be.” Phil Johari


“A a rarity and an absolute lifeline for musicians in the North West.” Frank So


“A thoroughly life affirming experience: having only recently returned to Lancashire, being involved with Actual Music showed us that we aren’t alone here, that instead we have a stunning community of talented artists around us sharing the same dreams and struggles we do. The work the folks at Actual Music do restored my faith in music, and humanity too.” Holden

Are you interested in joining the next cohort in 2025? The eligibility criteria is as follows:


  • Solo Artists, Duos Or Bands Based In Lancashire (Particularly Blackburn, Darwen, Burnley, Pendle, Hyndburn, Preston And Blackpool).
  • Members Aged 14 – 35
  • Artists Should Perform Their Own Original Music
  • Artists At Any Stage Of Their Career Journey As Long As They Are Not Signed To A Record Label (Artists Can Be Published Or Have Booking Agents And Managers)
  • All Artists Regardless Of Cultural Background, Gender, Ethnicity, Sexual Orientation And Disability Status
  • The programme will be completely free to access for all participants who are selected through the application process. 

If you are interested in accessing this artist development programme, simply fill out the form below.


Expression of Interest


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