New music sector specialist appointed by XpoNorth

Ray Black of Craft Management

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XPONORTH has announced the introduction of Ray Black and the wider team at Craft Management to its specialist sector programme to offer bespoke, high-level support to music industry businesses based across the Highlands and Islands.

As the organisation continues to develop its broader creative economy support programmes against the backdrop of the unique challenges and opportunities the sector continues to face, supporting the ongoing development, growth and innovation of the music industry across the region remains a key part of the XpoNorth model.

Craft Management represents artists including Kathryn Joseph, Mogwai, The Twilight Sad, Stillhound and producer Paul Savage. Ray and his team have experience of working across independent and major label campaigns supporting and guiding artists to develop their careers worldwide.

With the music industry being one of the hardest hit across the pandemic, the management company will provide targeted support as the short and long term recovery and revitalisation of the sector begins.

Ray Black said: “It’s been great to see the way XpoNorth has grown over the years and the essential support it provides across the creative industries in the Highlands and Islands.

“As we all adjust to working in the context of covid there will be new opportunities ahead. They are somewhat unknown and untapped at the moment, making it an important time for Craft Management to team up with XpoNorth to provide specialist support and advice.

“The industry has been in survival mode for the past 18 months, those businesses that have survived are going to need guidance to grow and flourish again. Supporting people and businesses in the region to develop and realise growth strategies is key and what drives us most and we’re looking forward to playing our part.”

Alex Smith, XpoNorth Project Manager said: “We’re delighted to have engaged Ray and the wider Craft Management team to lead on the delivery of XpoNorth’s specialist sector support programme for music. The industry across the Highlands and Islands is incredibly diverse and with many businesses continuing to navigate real uncertainty, we’re excited to have Craft Management’s depth of experience, regional awareness and insight into new areas of opportunity as part of the XpoNorth offering”.

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