The University of Plymouth has been awarded almost half a million pounds in funding for an innovative partnership project to enhance support for students to develop and share valuable skills across the city’s business and community sectors.

Plymouth Music Zone is the key community partner in this ‘Knowledge Exchange’ project. The charity will be hosting a number of University students over the next two years to help broaden their perspectives on working with a diverse range of individuals and communities.

This competitive funding has been awarded by Research England and the Office for Students to only twenty universities across the country. PMZ is set to receive £60,000 for its part in this groundbreaking cross-sectoral partnership. Commenting on the good news, PMZ Chief Executive, Debbie Geraghty, says:

“We’re so thrilled to be part of this innovative Knowledge Exchange project with the University of Plymouth. We’ve previously partnered with its academics sharing world leading research around the use of music and how it impacts on community cohesion and wellbeing and there was much to learn. We believe there is also much of value that students can experience about diversity and inclusion within the community and arts sectors, and we know how much they can share in return. We look forward to a very impactful and exciting exchange.”

Plymouth University’s Development and Partnership Manager in Research and Innovation, Rupert Lorraine, says:

“We are delighted to have been successful in securing funding from this flagship competition and to build on the Faculty’s current portfolio of externally funded, collaborative KE projects collectively worth over £15.5 million. The project will allow us to develop new ways to enhance students’ skills and abilities, deliver support to businesses and communities and tackle head-on the barriers affecting equality of opportunity and diversity and inclusion.”

Plymouth Music Zone has worked on many different projects with Plymouth University over the past few years. This has evaluation and research projects with the University’s Institute of Education, supporting student skills development and sitting on the Advisory Board of the Institute of Health and Community to expand knowledge of the positive social impact of music and the arts.

You can read more about the announcement on the University of Plymouth website.

Many thanks to Youth MusicThe National Lottery Community Fund and Arts Council England for their support over the years making these partnerships possible.