7:30am Thursday 26th December 2013
By Gina Bebbington
A ‘RIDICULOUS’ year built into a fine crescendo for a youth project that has transformed Northwich’s music scene.
Amplify Youth Music Project has not only become the go-to group for entertainment at community events, it has also been named one of the best youth projects in the UK.
Amplify, which celebrated its third birthday in October, was started by youth workers as a monthly band night for 11 to 19 year olds.
Now it is run by its own youth council, in conjunction with Cheshire West and Chester Council’s youth workers, has weekly jam sessions for its artists, regular events and links up with the art world.
It was also one of eight finalists in the country-wide arts and culture category of the Children and Young People Now Awards 2013.
Paul Barratt, who founded the project with Andy Bantock, said: “Last year we were saying ‘wow, this year was amazing, what are we going to do next year to top that?’ but due to the support from the community and the young people we have been able to grow even more and have an even bigger year – our only worry is what we are going to do next year now.
“We’ve been involved in so many community events like Northwich Music Festival and the artisan markets, which has really helped raise our profile and make the community, young people and parents aware of who we are and what we do.
“It’s been a good year for the young people too, seeing how they’ve grown and taken ownership of the project with the youth council.
“It’s something they’re professional about and like talking about because it’s their project and their platform.”
Amplify has also released a compilation album and recorded an acoustic album and The Edge Studios.
“It’s been a ridiculous year,” Paul said.
James Allinson, and Amplify Youth Council member, said: “It really makes us realise how lucky we are to have such a project in our area.”
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