March 9, 2021 @ 9:07 by Richard Dawson
A North East support agency for the music and digital sectors has announced that a BBC 6 Music presenter, punk-era pop star and LGBT rights activist will be joining the organisation as an official patron.
Tom Robinson, known for championing new artists on BBC 6 Music and for hits such as “2-4-6-8 Motorway”, “War Baby” and “Glad to Be Gay” will work with Generator to raise its profile and create new opportunities for emerging artists.
He said: “I’ve long been an admirer of Generator’s exceptional support for new and emerging artists across the North East.
“Its talent development programmes and the opportunities created for musicians are outstanding.
“It’s an absolute honour to take up the position of patron for Generator – their tireless work over the years and their relationship with the local music community is unique in my experience.
“Musically the region has always punched above its weight over the years, producing a stream of consistently innovative artists across the genres and generations.
“I can’t tell you how excited I am to have this chance of becoming a part of this story and helping this pool of extraordinary talent reach the wider audience it deserves.”
The announcement comes as Generator celebrates its 30th anniversary and coincides with the appointment of David Haley, senior vice president of global IT firm Atos, as the new chairman of the board.
David said: “The need to support the music sector in the North East has never been greater. If you needed to know how important the creative and music sector is to us here in the North East, then just look at the impact that 2020 had on all our lives.
“Along with our partners, Generator is superbly positioned to drive the growth and support of music in the region.
“To have the honour of being the chair of this great organisation along with its superb board and hugely talented team is a dream come true.”
Tom Robinson is a founding figure of the BBC Introducing programme and will work with Generator to increase opportunities for North East artists to get heard and build their audience at national and international level.
Generator CEO Hannah Matterson said: “The whole team is delighted to welcome Tom as our patron.
“His passion for new music and emerging artists is second to none and we want that passion to infiltrate into all of the work that we do. With one of the most recognisable and supportive voices in the industry, he has offered to commit time and energy to ensure that Generator continues to offer the best in talent development for artists.
“I’m excited to have him working alongside us and look forward to what comes from our new partnership.”
Hannah Matterson was appointed as Generator CEO in March last year and has since launched a number of new initiatives to support the creative sector in the wake of COVID-19.
She has also made a number of key hires such to the team and appointed several board members to give artists the best possible support.
“We now have a board with new directors and new sets of skills that align with the work we do to support the creative industries,” she says.
“We are all on the same page and understand the challenges the music industry faces right now and will continue to face for some time, but we have a positive approach to dealing with these.”