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Monday, 13 August, 2001, 04:13 GMT 05:13 UK
Pop Factory boost for wannabes
Cerys Matthews and Tom Jones
Cerys and Tom helped launch the Pop Factory
Budding musicians from across Wales will have the chance to work with the professionals when they join a ground-breaking new training course on Monday.

The scheme, which is being run by the Prince's Trust Cymru, will take place at the Pop Factory - the state-of-the-art recording studio - on the site of the former Corona pop factory in Porth in the Rhondda Valley.

The six-day residential Sain Byw (Living Sound) course is open to young people aged between 18 and 24 who are unemployed, but have a strong interest and ability in music.

Kelly Jones, Stereophonics
The Stereophonics lent their support to the studio
Free and funded through the Arts Council of Wales for All Lottery Fund, the course includes rehearsals, tutorials and masterclasses by professional tutors and some of the leading figures from the music industry.

The week ends with a concert which will give students the chance to showcase their work.

The scheme is followed by a six-month period of aftercare with each of the young people offered the support of a volunteer mentor.

Until almost a year ago, the Pop Factory was a soft drinks plant.

The 100-year-old Welsh Hills works now houses a state-of-the-art digital television studio and recording studios.

The 1.3m project began as a partnership between independent television company Avanti, the Welsh Development Agency and Rhondda Cynon Taff Council.

Secretary of State for Wales Paul Murphy was joined by Tom Jones, the Stereophonics, and Catatonia for the launch last September.

See also:

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07 Jul 01 | Wales
Catatonia given Royal approval
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