LEEDS, 2019


Sound Development brings together the top minds from the private and public sectors. Leading experts from the music industry, to those in development, city planning and urban regeneration.


KATH DAVIES, Arts and Creative Development Manager, kirless council

Kath Davies has been described as a story teller, door opener and bridge builder. She explores places and identity to generate ideas, partnerships and creative solutions.

Since 1998, Kath has worked as a cultural development specialist and independent practitioner with experience ranging from creative and community action and health and wellbeing to visitor economy. From 2007 onwards, Kath has gone onto lead Local Government teams across cultural and creative economy strategy and policy, engagement and audience development, project and events management.

Kath is also a qualified coach and values a collaborative leadership style. She is highly skilled in creative and systems thinking to support innovation, vision and ambition whilst also ensuring approaches are grounded in people and place. Currently, Kath is working with partners to create the conditions for music to grow and thrive in Kirklees, West Yorkshire, building towards a year of music in 2023.



Samuel is co-founder of Kinrise, focused on investment strategy and creative direction. He is a trustee of Charity:Water and Hackney.Church and co-founded eyewear brand Finlay London.

Kinrise is an award-winning investment company focussed on creating spaces that inspire and enable. The company is building a portfolio of iconic buildings and ventures to contribute to the rise of UK cities, through creative refurbishment, technology, and social and environmental impact initiatives. Projects to date include The Albert Estate and Canada House in Manchester and 34 Boar Lane in Leeds.


Nicola Greenan, Director, East St Arts

Glasgow born , Leeds raised. Wife of a Scottish sound engineer and mother of a 22 year old daughter studying fine art in Groningen. Studied Arts Management at Leeds University and spent a career working across creative industries and social enterprise.

In 2004 I created 20/20/2 vision a project bringing 20 filmmakers and 20 musician together for 2 weeks to create 20 music videos, supported by Festival Republic and MTV. In 2009 I set up the LS14 Trust a community based social enterprise on the council estate I grew up on. LS14 Trust has gone on to employ local residents to deliver an events hire company and a digital lounge and café. In 2014 I took up the role as External Relations Director of East Street Arts a national Visual Arts charity to look at delivering new enterprise models like The Art Hostel the UK’s 1st Social Enterprise.

Former chair of Leeds Music Trust and In 2016 was appointed chair of engagement for Leeds Bid for European Capital of Culture 2023. I was also awarded Yorkshire women of the year in 2017 for contribution to the creative sector." My latest appointment to the Leeds City Region LEP board bringing my knowledge and understanding of the economic an social impact of culture industries.



Samuel Nicholls or whiskas as he is mainly known in the music industry, is a Senior Lecturer in Music at Leeds Beckett University and founder & director of Music:Leeds - an organisation established to act as a centralised point to support, develop, grow and promote music in the city across all levels, genres and cultures.

Previously, whiskas has run a music venue and live promotions company, founded the Dance To The Radio record label and was guitarist in the band ¡Forward, Russia!, signed to Mute / EMI Records in North America as well self-releasing in Europe.

Since 2010 he has curated the annual Unconference event, now the largest free music industry conference in the North, and in 2017 established Music:Leeds, signing partnership agreements with Leeds City Council to supporting artists and music organisations across the city. whiskas is also on the board of Leeds Music Hub, Come Play With Me and acts as an advisor to PRS Foundation 

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JJ Tatten manages The Warren Youth Project, a charity providing free support services to 1,809 disadvantaged young people in the local area - one of which is the acclaimed Three Minute Heroes mental-health and music project.

Born into a North Dublin working-class community, JJ emigrated to London in the 1980s at the age of 18 to study journalism part-time, funding his studies by working as a labourer on various building sites around London’s docklands and living in a squat. He went on to specialise in writing about construction, alcohol and transport, founding his own PR & Marketing agency in 1996.

Frustrated by the poor economic circumstances of communities similar to the one he hails from, JJ eventually decided to stop talking about it and attempt to do something about it instead. When the Warren came close to closing its doors in 2014 amid drastic budget and staff cuts, JJ took up the mantle in an effort to ensure its survival. Five years later, its doors are still open, he has 1,809 bosses, and what little hair he previously had left has long since disappeared.

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Angela Barnicle, Chief Officer - Asset Management & Regeneration, Leeds City Council

Angela has a passion for cities, economic development and with it delivering transformational change and growth. She is a Commercial Practice Surveyor, RICS assessor and Registered Valuer.

Having dealt with all aspects of commercial property she now leads the Asset Management and Regeneration teams for Leeds City Council, having joined in 2017. Here Angela focuses on delivering optimum corporate real estate solutions and realising development opportunities for this international city, at the heart of the Northern Powerhouse.

Angela leads the project team for the Leeds City Region HS2 Growth Strategy, which includes the delivery of the recently published comprehensive masterplan for the Leeds Integrated Station and the wider South Bank Programme.

Previously Angela was a Director in the Deloitte Cities Advisory Practice, where she worked extensively across the UK advising both the public and private sector on real estate matters, organisational design and place positioning.

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Tom Smith, Project Director & Co-Founder, MAP Charity

Tom Smith is the co-founder and project director of MAP Charity. He started the charity with Charlie Stobbart and Kat Soutar in 2008, who at the time were all in their early 20s. With a background in music production and social work, Tom wanted to explore ways in which arts and education could interact to create positive social change.

Tom is also an audio engineer and DJ, and has spent years hand building and fine tuning what is now regarded as one of the finest high fidelity club systems in the country, the Cosmic Slop Soundsystem, now used by resident and international DJs in-house to raise funds for MAP Charity.

Tom’s varied interests range from hydroponics and permaculture to carpentry and print-making; he passionately applies his skills to the charity’s programmes, continuallyproviding new inspiration and opportunities for young people.


Jack Simpson, Co-Founder,Eiger Studios, Hyde Park Book Club & The State of The Arts

Jack Simpson works across a range of projects in music, culture & politics. Co founder of cultural hub Hyde Park Book Club, recording studio & venue Eiger Studios, and culture site The State of The Arts. Alongside these projects, Jack is currently studying for a PhD at the University of Leeds politics department, researching the impact of globalisation on political autonomy.

Jack has worked with a number of organisations in roles broadly advising on communication, including Officer at Large for the Human Development and Capability Association (present). Co - Project lead with Unilever & the Open Data Institute, steering group member for Leeds 2023 bid and co founder of Leeds Lit Fest. Jack is an Enterprise Ambassador with the Leeds University Business School.

Jack is interested in the relationship between ideas, culture & politics and welcomes invitations to collaborate on projects / discuss these areas. He can be found on Twitter or in person getting way too enthused about ideas & culture.



Danny is the Global Head of Business Development of Sound Diplomacy, the leading global advisory on Music Cities, providing music strategy and research to cities and governments.

Danny has over 7 years experience working closely with musicians at varying stages of their careers from developing artists starting out to festival headliners. Following a brief period with Moshi Moshi Records Danny joined Black Book Management to work with artists such as Razorlight, Noisettes and Lucy Rose. Danny also set up and ran a small label and through this label he released singles from Lucy Rose, Glitches and Johnny Borrell amongst others and orchestrated promotional strategies, social media management and merchandise design. 



Since launching Mono_cult in 2007 - an established, leading electronic music night, hosting events in the UK and Europe - Matt has excelled in the cultural sector over the last 10 years, curating a wide variety of music, food and drink events across the city.

In 2013 Matt joined New Citizens and became director of the company in 2016 leading the events, marketing and operations for the New Citizens group that includes successful projects Canal Mills, The Garden Party and food and drink based Oktoberfest and Brewers Market.