News: TheWRD | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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The Ivors Academy is launching TheWRD, a new two-year diploma in Creative Entrepreneurship for students aged 19 years and over. Supported by some of the biggest players in the music industry, the course gives young people the opportunity to build a career in a very competitive industry

This pre-degree, UCAS recognised, diploma starts its first intake starting in September 2022 and will be delivered through a combination of remote learning as well as group sessions and mentorship days at local grassroots music venues across the UK. It will be taught and mentored by top music artists, publishers, producers, composers, technicians, marketeers, business executives, lawyers, accountants, graphic designers, publicists and agents.

The course can be state-funded for those who qualify, or it can be funded privately. To level the playing field, there will be 100 free scholarships.

CEO of TheWRD, Ian Mack, is originally from the region and is keen to get North-East artists on board. Here, he tells us more…

“My dad was born in South Shields, where I lived for many of my teenage years. After finishing a performing arts BTEC at Hebburn College, I signed to Warner Music Group as a songwriter and artist. This meant I had to move to London to pursue my career in music. Since then, I have had the pleasure of running my own record label, funded by EMI, and being Vice President of Right Bank Music, who sold over 200 million records with artists such as Cher, Whitney Houston, Backstreet Boys, Enrique Iglesias, Tine Turner and many others. 

“I’m now very proud to be CEO of TheWRD from The Ivors Academy.

“TheWRD is all about opening access to the creative industries for people from all walks of life. And, in Sept 2022, we are launching the most industry-led Access to Higher Education Diploma in Creative Entrepreneurship in Music. Supported by industry leaders, expert educators and cutting-edge technology, TheWRD delivers career-defining education for people aged 19+ who have an industry in having a career in music.

“The course costs £5,000 privately. But, in order to make this course accessible to people from all backgrounds, we are offering 100 people a free scholarship to study TheWRD. These scholarships are kindly supported by industry leading organisations such as Amazon Music, Universal Music, Warner Music, The Ivors Trust, TuneCore, Soundcloud, BBC, Pirate Studios, Audio, Hipgnosis Songs, GigRealm, Raindog Films and others.

“We, at TheWRD, are committed to helping young people all around the UK. And, I personally, would love to help as many people from the North-East as possible.

“There are limited places, so make sure you apply now at

And maybe we can uncover the next Simon Cowell or Sam Fender (who won one of our Ivor Novello Awards this year – nice one, Sam).“

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