A MUSICAL crucible is hotting up in Northwich as musicians, businesses and groups start to work in harmony.

Amplify Youth Music Project was set up two years ago to give musical youngsters an outlet and chance to develop their talents in a relaxed and informal setting.

Organisers were also keen to establish a musical community in Northwich and, with the backing of shops, music schools and recording studios, this dream is being realised.

Paul Barratt, who helped set Amplify up in September 2010, said: “There’s so much talent in Northwich and so many people passionate about music, whether that’s young people, music studios or shops, it’s good to get all of these in the same place and working together.

“It’s hopefully opening up more opportunities for our young musicians and the music scene working together gives them something to be part of.

“It’s building up a community which, as Amplify, is what we wanted to start up from the grass roots.”

Jamie Owen, 18, a member of Amplify, said: “A couple of years ago there wasn’t much for people in bands to do, then Amplify started up and there’s a lot more younger generation bands starting up.”

Ollie Ingham, 17, said: “Amplify is a community of different artists into different music and seeing that all come together in one place is really interesting.”

Sound Technique music tuition, in Barnton, has 300 pupils on its books and is a strong supporter of Amplify.

Mel Walker, who runs the school with husband Simon, said it has made music much more accessible for young people.

“Years ago it was very privileged to have music lessons because it was very costly,” she said.

“I went to school [Weaverham High School] with Steve Hewitt, the drummer from Placebo, and I remember him putting on a mini concert in the school hall and I remember that being really unusual.

“I spoke to Steve a while back and he said no-one really did anything then, he was just so passionate about music that he sorted it out himself and went on to bigger and greater things.

“He was quite impressed with what Northwich has to offer now.”

Conor Slevin, manager of Northwich Music Centre, said the shop was keen to support Amplify as its official suppliers and help Northwich grow on the music scene.

“There’s been some good names coming from Northwich and always has been,” he said.

“There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be taking things by the scruff of the neck to develop the scene in a constructive way.

“By pulling everything in the right direction we can be a significant town.”

He added: “We need to make sure talent isn’t restricted in any way, it’s our duty to enable that to happen.”

The Edge Studios, based in Alderley Edge, is working with Amplify to give young musicians chance to experience a professional recording studio without it being intimidating.

John Delf, a sound engineer who has worked with the likes of Plan B, The Script and Lily Allen, set up The Edge a year ago.

He said: “We wanted to forge links with other local companies and Northwich Music Centre and Amplify are both doing great things in the area to support the local music scene.

“I’m quite surprised at how much talent there is in Amplify and I would encourage any teenagers who want to anything connected with music to get down there.

“For us the benefit of being involved is that Amplify is a centre for talent and we can offer them studio deals – they’re the future of music.

“Northwich Music Centre, Amplify and Edge have a similar philosophy – that music should be accessible to anyone and everyone, not an exclusive club.”

• Amplify, based at The Venue, in Rudheath, is for 11 to 19 year olds and holds weekly Monday night rehearsal and jamming sessions as well as monthly band nights and other events.