Berkshire Maestro secure funding for music hubBy Victoria Smith
May 30, 2012
Music teaching from a charity will continue after funding was secured, but supporters will need to raise additional cash to plug a cut in grants.
Berkshire Maestros, working with the five Berkshire local authorities, has secured its future as a music hub after an application was approved by the Arts Council England.
The new music hub will be one of 122 set up to co-ordinate music education across England to ensure every child aged between five and 18 has the opportunity to sing and learn a musical instrument, as well as perform as part of an ensemble or choir.
The scheme replaces the previous funding arrangement for Berkshire Maestros, however does mean a reduction in available funding for the group.
Compared to the amount of funding Berkshire Maestros used to receive, the first year as a hub would see a drop of 10 per cent to £900,000 in funding and the second and third year would fall by 25 per cent to £750,000.
However, the hub will work closely with all schools in the borough to bring together a range of expertise and opportunities with partner organisations including the BBC Singers, Readipop and the University of Reading.
The Berkshire hub will also develop a wide range of new relationships including working with specialists in steel pans and carnival arts, world music styles, West African music and traditional folk styles.
Bob Welch, Bracknell Forest Council’s chief adviser, said: “These will add to the extensive programme already in place for children to learn string, wind, brass or percussion instruments and play in a large orchestra or sing in nationally recognised, award winning choirs.”
Councillor Dr Gareth Barnard, Bracknell Forest’s executive member for children, young people and learning, said: “Music plays an important part in all children’s education and we are pleased that the Berkshire Hub has been successful in securing funds to continue and extend the opportunities for our young people to sing or learn to play an instrument to a very high standard.
“I look forward to working with all those involved with the hub to boost music opportunities for children and young people across Bracknell Forest.”