A New Name | British Youth Music Theatre

A New Name

A New Name

We celebrated our 15th birthday, 4 December 2018, by officially changing our name from Youth Music Theatre UK to British Youth Music Theatre.

We took this decision after three years of deliberation, consultation and market research. It coincided with a relocation of our London office to the new Mountview building in Peckham and a new brand and website by Shaun Webb Design.

The reasons for the change are both strategic and practical.

Strategically, the company has focused almost exclusively on British music, composition and writing for fifteen years. British music and theatre are world renowned and form a major part of the UK’s creative industries. So changing our name to British directly expresses the core of our work.

It also supports our aims for the next fifteen years: a determination to reach all corners of Britain through our recruitment processes; to promote the very best of British creativity through our work; to recruit more from overseas; and to develop international collaborations and tours.

We believe too that the title ‘British’ offers a more aspirational and prestigious description for young people, their parents and teachers. In order to use the description ‘British’ (a protected name) we needed to prove to Companies House and the Department of Business, that we genuinely were UK wide, represented the widest range of British people and were of a quality that could truly represent Britain on an international stage.

As a National Youth Music Organisation (NYMO) in England, funded by the Department for Education, and as an organisation in receipt of funding at various times from Arts Councils in all four UK countries including as an NPO in England, we believe that British Youth Music Theatre well expresses our current and future role.

There are many practical reasons too which have weighed heavily in the decision making. Most notably, the letters ‘UK’ were regularly omitted from our previous name by press and other third parties; this led to confusion amongst audiences and within the cultural industry.   

What the name change most emphatically is not, is a political statement of any kind.  There are no implications regarding continental Europe with whom we believe Britain has a shared intellectual and cultural history or in relation to Ireland where we have excellent relations with artists and organisations both north and south of the border and whose literary and musical heritage is closely entwined with that of Britain.

In short, we hope that the name British Youth Music Theatre will better express our creative and artistic intentions while also enhancing our welcoming offer to young people and creative artists internationally, including from Ireland and mainland Europe.