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Last Updated: Monday, 5 February 2007, 09:12 GMT
City gets dedicated music centre
The Oh Yeah building
It is hoped the building will house a creative hub
It is not quite the Whisky a Go Go in Los Angeles, but some big names are supporting plans to establish a dedicated music centre for Belfast in a former bonded whiskey warehouse.

The venue is in Gordon Street in the heart of the city's Cathedral Quarter.

Gary Lightbody from Snow Patrol, Tim Wheeler from Ash and Radio 1's Colin Murray are among the active supporters of the Oh Yeah project.

Music journalist Stuart Bailie is in charge of the project and he said that such a facility was long overdue for Belfast.

He added that with bands such as Snow Patrol selling five million albums there was also a strong business case for taking the Northern Ireland music scene more seriously.

Talent

"There have been lots of successful things coming out of Belfast, but there have been lots of things that should have made it and we have never had the structure to help them over those important humps and we're going to be trying to do that," he said.

He said that while raw talent had to be respected it was hard for it to make it in show business without help.

Measuring 14,500 square feet over three floors it will soon be home to rehearsal rooms, a recording studio, performance space, a café and office units to incubate new music businesses.

An ambitious renovation schedule is planned, to include a new roof and rewiring, disability access and a suitable lift, plus the installation of rehearsal space and the recording studio.

Mr Bailie said that the team expected to be installed in the building this month.

"In recent years the warehouse has been used by the Outlet recording company as a distribution point so it already has the shell of a recording studio and the sort of space we can use for performance and rehearsal room and places where people can meet and incubate new businesses," he said.




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