Stuart Bailie CEO

Oh Yeah Music Centre co-founder receives huge arts foundation grant

Broadcaster and co-founder of the Oh Yeah Music Centre, Stuart Bailie has been awarded a grant of over £191,000 by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation (PHF), one of the larger independent grant-making foundations in the UK.

Bailie's award was announced at the official launch of the PHF’s new Breakthrough Fund. It is expected that Bailie will now take up the full-time role of CEO at the Oh Yeah Music Centre, and push forward transformation of the former bonded whiskey warehouse on all levels. 

Along with Snowpatrol frontman Gary Lightbody, multi-media professional Martin Neill and business expert David Matchett, Bailie founded the not-for-profit Oh Yeah Music Centre in 2005.  

Since then Bailie has played a central roll in the development of the centre, helping to secure funding from the then Secretary of State Pete Hain, organising events and album launches and encouraging artists and music practioners to make the most of the centre's as yet limited functionality.  

'The Breakthrough Fund seems to want to encourage mavericks, not people who fit neatly and naturally into bureaucratic boxes,' Bailie commented on receiving his grant. 'The Paul Hamlyn Foundation wants to make things happen.' 

The foundation has initially committed £4.5m over three years to the new Breakthrough Fund, and six individuals from five arts organisations were selected to receive inaugural grants of between £190k and £300k. 

The four other inaugural Breakthrough Fund grants were awarded to artistic director Felix Barrett and producer Colin Marsh, of theatre company Punchdrunk; moving image and events curator Gareth Evans; joint CEO and joint artistic director of Battersea Arts Centre, David Jubb; and entreprenaur Nii Sackey, founder of the Bigga Fish online training resource.

Launching the Breakthrough Fund at the PHF, James Lingwood, foundation trustee and chair of its arts programme committee said: 

'There are some very talented individuals around the UK who have the ideas and the energy to make a real impact on our cultural landscape. The Breakthrough Fund gives them a real chance to break through.' 

The launch reception at the PHF in London was attended by leading figures of the arts world including The Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MBE MP, the English minister for Culture, Creative Industries and Tourism.