Total Breakthrough Fund support: £284,795
The Breakthrough Fund supported Stuart in 2008 to leave his career as a music journalist in order to become Chief Executive and the first paid employee of Oh Yeah Music Centre, a Belfast music organisation created in 2007 to ‘open doors to music potential’ amongst the city’s artists and young people.
Occupying a former bonded whisky warehouse in the fast-changing Cathedral Quarter of Belfast, Oh Yeah now offers a permanent music exhibition, a café space and gigs venue, a privately run recording studio, a song writing room, two rehearsal rooms, various small office units for start-up businesses, and spaces where workshops, meetings and seminars are held. Oh Yeah’s small team have built up an extensive programme of talent development, outreach, business incubation and industry skills training, and has led on high profile initiatives such as Belfast Music Week, and been a key player in other aspects of the city’s cultural tourism and cultural economy strategies. Over five years, the grant also supported the growth of fundraising capacity within Oh Yeah’s team, and helped to fund the creation of the new post of General Manager to unlock new income generation potential and operational capacity. The grant concluded in 2013.