BBC Introducing Saturday 3rd May 2014

BBC Introducing Lancashire

This week on BBC Introducing Lancashire we had All Becomes Clear on the programme playing a live session.


We spoke to My Mistake on the phone


We played a couple of live tracks from Rae Morris and the interview with Jo Whiley on BBC Radio 2. (If you look at the playlist… to be clear Joe Whiley did NOT sing on Rae Morris’ track!) ūüėČ


We spoke with these people about a good few things too!

And we played a ton of new local music. If you want to see who we played just click HERE to see a playlist for BBC Introducing Lancashire.









BBC Radio Lancashire – BBC Introducing

BBC Introducing Lancashire

New local music from the BBC

BBC Introducing

I am very lucky to be the presenter of BBC Introducing Lancashire.

Every Saturday evening from 8pm until 10pm on BBC Radio Lancashire I play the best new music from our fair county!

The programme was first to play a host of local artists you hear on national radio and see on your device type things.

The BBC Uploader

If you have music you’d like to send me then please go to the BBC Introducing site and register there. I get notified, we listen to the music and then if it passes through my team it could get played on the radio locally, nationally and you could end up playing one of the big festivals on the BBC Introducing stage.

Like Rae Morris did here. 

So how about having a listen?

Just click the yellow link below and see what was going on on this week’s programme.

Thanks for taking the time and hope to hear you soon.

BBC Radio Lancashire – BBC Introducing.

The Guardian Social Enterprise Award 2011

So I check my twitter this morning and The Guardian’s Social Enterprise people are running The Guardian Social Enterprise Award.

Nice one. It’s great to see The Guardian putting time and resources into their social enterprise content and a new award.

I run SPACE Blackpool CIC so am interested in entering but also want to see an improved understanding of what a social enterprise is across the media. So it is as they say a win/win type scenario. Or so I thought.

Oh crap!

Here are the published entry requirements:

Entrants must meet the following criteria:

РThe award is open to residents of the UK aged 18 (on or before 22   August 2011) and over

РThe entry must come from the founder, co-founder, managing director or   chief executive of the enterprise

РEnterprises wishing to enter should have a turnover in excess of £200K   and or will have raised £200k plus via equity or loans.  If you have   secured significant contracts this may also enable you to qualify for   entry

– Businesses entering the awards should employ between 3-500 staff

– If you’re working in collaboration with another enterprise we will accept ¬†¬†joint entries

The judges are looking for projects that aim to improve services for communities, and working more effectively with health and public, voluntary and private sectors.

So what’s wrong with that?

Two things in my opinion:

Firstly, the turnover threshold of £200k. Why have one? Could it not be that a social enterprise turning over £50k has a brilliant and sustainable idea that would change lives if it won a prestigious award?

Secondly, the same old presumption that bidding for contracts with the public sector is the be all and end all of what a socent does. This is just not getting it to me.

Bidding for contracts

I could write pages about this but in brief here are some of the questions I ask myself when I decide not to look at bidding for contracts locally.

Why would I want to bid for contracts to deliver services in a way I believe hasn’t worked? Having watched and tried to engage with the public sector for 5 years now I have seen the good times. I have watched money get hurled around on one off events and unsustainable, badly designed “schemes” and “projects.” Often, they just seem to work for the people employed within the public and quasi-public bodies concerned and their political, PR or empire building objectives.

Why would I give our ideas and expertise to a public body that in the past has just nicked them, spent alot of public money without even considering if they have a clue what they are doing and then unsurprisingly, delivered little? It is like they think public money is to just be spent once, on something nice. They say woohoo aren’t we clever, put a piece in the local rag then move on to another bidding opportunity for central government money.

That’s a bit negative

That sounds like I am narky about this. Well that’s because I am bloody fuming to be honest. Raging about the way this so called “social enterprise friendly” public sector is working now.

Do I need to become an expert bidder for public money to be successful? Or wouldn’t it be better if the public sector saw socents like us as being a resource that will make innovative things happen. They should give us buildings that are empty, co-bid with us to central government on sustainable business models not one offs. They should see that the young people we engage with could be the very ones that make a change in the health choices and life aspirations of many of their friends too.

Most socents doff their caps to their public sector purse holders and end up delivering the same old crap that hasn’t worked. I would like to see that change. I want socents to be emboldened by a central government that revolutionises the delivery of health and social services. To make business plans that don’t need hand outs and to try to get the public sector to engage properly not just throw out contracts for services when they find they haven’t got any money left.

Positive stuff

At the weekend SPACE Music along with Visit Blackpool put on an event in the newly tarted up St. John’s Square in Blackpool. A huge thank you to the people from Visit Blackpool. They worked with us to deliver something that we can replicate again and again relatively inexpensively. Offering opportunities for work experience, volunteering and to promote artists music in the centre of Blackpool. It improved traffic to the square and created a really nice atmosphere in a town that sometimes on a Saturday afternoon can be er… interesting. Pictures to follow soon.

We now hope we can move inside The Winter Gardens and make some sustainable events happen for young people there too.

Locally more people within the council are getting this and I sense a thawing of the old public sector mentality. As soon as the decision makers and councillors get to understand that socents do more than just deliver the services they want delivering we will have made progress.

Central government has a huge part to play though now. When we return to long waited growth in the economy and the belt tightening slackens ever so slightly… then will be the test and the time to let us social enterprises really deliver some sustainable youth and other services.

Thanks for reading.

BBC Introducing & #Uncon22

Email sent to delegates of Unconvention22 in Preston

You are welcome to get involved even if you didn’t go to #Uncon22 last Friday


Apologies for the intrusion! It’s Sean McGinty emailing you from BBC Introducing Lancashire and SPACE Blackpool CIC.

The #Uncon22 peeps kindly let me contact you so we can try and take forward some of the ideas that came up last Friday and make some more “joined up stuff” happen here in Lancashire.

Background: It was the last session of the day and it became clear that Lancashire’s big problem is that we are all over the place geographically. That makes it harder to work together for bands, managers, venues… everyone.

The starting point for taking this forward for us is tomorrow night at 8pm at the BBC Lancashire studios in Blackburn. I’d love it if you could come and get involved too.

The organisers and some guests from Friday’s Unconvention22 will be talking to me on the radio and I hope you will join us to throw your ideas at us and get involved with the conversation.

If you want to come down to the studios to chat, to give us your new tunes or just drink BBC coffee and talk about your experiences please email me back to let me know who you are and what you do please. You need to be there before 7.45pm.

If you can’t come then you can still email me back and ask a question or make a suggestion.

You can listen online from 8pm on Thursday 23rd June 2011 just click here! Or use one of those retro radio things.

Thanks for reading this… all I am trying to do here is help start the conversation that could lead to some solutions for bands, managers, promoters, service providers and venues alike.

I hear so many talented artists and bands every week as I put together the programme but artists tell me they need more opportunities to play live, work with promoters, producers, designers, video makers etc from all over Lancashire. If creative types across Lancashire could get together more and chat we could really build something here. That is what we are trying to achieve and I hope you can support that.

So if we can help make that happen then it is a winning/tiger DNA type scenario.

Muchos grassiass,

Sean McGinty
BBC Introducing Lancashire
SPACE Blackpool CIC


Get up to ¬£2,000 With Live UnLtd in partnership with SPACE Blackpool

You have a good idea that would be good for you and your friends… you need some money… come to Baristas Coffee Shop Next Tuesday 3rd May at 6pm and apply… read on…

Get up to £2,000 With Live UnLtd in

partnership with SPACE Blackpool

Live UnLtd and SPACE are on the hunt to find some
young people who want to make a difference.

Live UnLtd are offering awards of up to £2,000 to help
11-21 year olds in Blackpool to create positive change in
their community. You will be given help and support to
develop your idea from and Live UnLtd and SPACE (run
not for profit rehearsal studios and events.)

What is it you want to do that would make
a difference to young people in Blackpool?

This is a GREAT opportunity to apply for this grant and to meet
UnLtd and SPACE in preparation for a Dragon’s Den Style
event where eight to ten young people will get the opportunity
to pitch their amazing ideas to a panel.

Applications forms will be provided on the day as well as all the
help you’ll need. You just need to get to

Tuesday 3rd May 2011

Barista’s Coffee Shop

Birley Street, Blackpool, FY1 1DU

At 6pm

For further information about the project please refer to the FAQ
section of our website here:
faq or email

Please share this around so anyone who might be interested gets a chance to see it!

Email me if you have any questions please.

In the meantime here are some cakes.

Muchos grassiass,


mmmm cakes

Journalism, accountability and sustainability


This is a beef of mine. Councils and public bodies that spend our money are not held accountable locally are they? You get the odd expenses story or when something goes wrong but someone actually trying to find out about the value for money of services councils have delivered never happens. But why is that? When I went to UCLan to study journalism in the early noughties I expected we would be taught about how to investigate not just how to tell the story. It was a disappointment to me that this aspect of journalism seems to be ignored at university courses. I understand why though… the skills of the investigative reporter are not wanted across much of the industry with a few notable exceptions. I want to stress though the course I did at UCLan was a life changer and a wonderful experience but not quite what I expected that’s all.

Answer the question Sean

Why is local journalism not holding the public sector to account?

Well I think it’s because local papers and radio don’t have the time to go through the sheer weight of administration our local public sector produces to find the answers out. Councils have become closed over the years and although you can get a set of accounts they are not much use when you are trying to find out if they are getting value for money in the spending they do.

Also the skills required don’t match those of your average local newspaper/radio/TV journalist plus there is not a huge incentive for anyone to rock the local boat is there? Plus there are many people who could not give a flying fig if their local council are wasting money. This is the other thing missing from this journalism equation… that is passion for the subject and often a real connection with the locality they serve. Let’s face it, it is a cynical and often politically charged business this journalism thing.

SPACE Journalism

So in an effort to address this we will soon be doing some journalism at SPACE on the new website and here and I’ll tell you why. Firstly, journalism is about communicating ideas AND uncovering stories so I hope for the young people that work with us on this that will be a good opportunity for them.

Secondly, I am watching as local councils cut youth services back to the bone because they now have no money. But how good at running these services are the councils? How well did they use the torrents of money that poured into their budgets during the good times? I fail to see the results among young people I know of all that extra spending but I do see where alot of it was wasted on buildings, staff, buying things nobody uses and dumb ideas that never worked.

Campaigning journalism

I could but won’t list half a dozen areas we will look at locally. How come youth services in Blackpool are going to be cut so badly? How did they spend past monies? What were the real outcomes of that spending?

So often I saw money spent that had no impact at all on young people locally yet we as a social enterprise were funding our work ourselves out of our salaries from our day jobs and the small micro business we have created.


Due to the way councils hide this kind of information or make it hard to find out, we are going to have to go on a journey into the world of council accounts. Last time I did this I realised just how difficult they make it to understand who spends what and why. We will dig through the numbers, make freedom of information requests and in a positive way shine a light on the performance of local councils.

I am really looking forward to this aspect of our social enterprise because my belief is that it is only through “disruptive change” that we will get better services and facilities for young people. It is not just about throwing money around (we know that from the past) so let’s learn the lessons and ensure when money does come to youth services again that it is spent in an accountable and sustainable way.

If anyone who reads this fancies getting involved with the journalism aspect of SPACE just email us or comment here.

Gimme the f****** venue!


So I heard the other day that after four years of running this social business we call SPACE Blackpool CIC we will, in the next four weeks, have received our first major financial input other than from Aishling (my long suffering wife) and myself. I will say who and what brings us this cash once the paperwork is done and I will thank them and all the others who helped make this happen properly then too.

It is around £35,000 and it will allow us to do so much but this money will be used strictly in a sustainable way.

Zee plans

We will, in February, be getting our current building made fit for the new purpose with a ton of exciting projects to follow. SPACE Music (a new kind of label), gigs, rehearsal studios, events, journalism and a proper venue so that what we do now can grow into something that can change many more lives than we currently do.

Here’s our ethos: To ensure the sustainability of all our projects through the enterprise of the young people we work with.

Four years of social business

I will, when our new website is done, – – post a ton more about how this is all going to work.

I watched When Harvey Met Bob in full last night (the dramatisation of the Live Aid story) and I now take my lead from Sir Bob. So if the council or any other public body have a building they are not using and we can show them we can use for a good social purposes then I will be saying “gimme the f****** building… now!

I have spent four years tip toeing around a council that as a corporate body does not get what social business is. But no more.

No more Mr Nice Guy…

So public bodies of Blackpool – Gimme the f****** venue. You have loads of buildings, stop trying to hide them and flog them off and tell us about your plans. Share what you are doing and get me a building in the town centre in which I can change young people’s lives for the better and make Blackpool a cool place for musicians to come and play.

If you as a council care about the services that young people can access in Blackpool (and because you are about to lay waste to the ones you up to now have delivered) how about some real engagement here?

Talk is cheap

Not doing meetings and enjoying nice chats but actually giving us something real. SPACE doesn’t need or want the council’s money (we never have) but we want the f****** buildings you waste, the f****** equipment sat in storage and the f****** contracts you will no doubt soon be dishing out to people who used to work at the council but will soon not.

I have been the very definition of Mr Nice Guy for 4 years… now I expect answers or I blame, shame and name the people who are in my way.

So I take my lead from Sir Bob Geldof and say in no uncertain terms: get out of my f****** way and let me have a building for that young people’s venue that we need so badly in this town.

After that we’ll talk about how we can help older people while we deliver young people’s services.