Essex County Council wins £4.1 million music education grant
16 May 2012
Essex County Council has been successful in securing a £4.1 million grant from the Arts Council England’s “music educational hub” fund. The grant is one of the largest awarded from the fund.
Music education hubs will be built on existing music services and will be a collection of organisations working in a local area, to create joined up music education provision for children and young people, both in and out of school.
The aim of the hubs is to ensure that every child aged between 5 and 18 has the chance to sing and learn how to play a musical instrument, as well as perform as part of an ensemble or choir.
The money is part of a £171 million, three year, investment programme from the Department of Education, to set up a network of music education hubs across England. The Essex County Council bid was supported by the Essex Funding Team, which helps the Council to reduce costs by securing external funding to deliver services and new opportunities for local residents. Essex will be working with Southend and Thurrock councils, who have also been successful in getting funding, to deliver the programme.
Working with the Royal Opera House, children in the county will have the chance to learn, and take part in, a huge range of musical styles, with everything from rock to jazz schools. Young people from low income families in Essex will also be targeted by the initiative.
Stephen Castle, Cabinet Member for Education, Lifelong Learning and the 2012 Games, said “This is great news for Essex Music Services, which will be able to provide young people in the county with a hugely diverse music education programme. Essex Music Services is working hard to ensure that every child in the county has the chance to have high quality music education."
Kevin Bentley, cabinet member for Economic Development and Waste, said “The bid for the Arts Council grant was supported by our External Funding Team. It illustrates the innovative ways in which we are working to secure funds from external sources to deliver worthwhile schemes across the county.”
Nigel Hildreth MBE, head of Performing Arts at Colchester Sixth Form College, said “Music has such an important role to play in encouraging young people to develop a huge range of skills; from the self discipline of practicing and performing to working together with others in ensembles. Music can provide such an important medium to engender self esteem and creativity. It is particularly pleasing that the music hub will be able to draw together school and community activities, drawing upon the expertise of top class professionals both as tutors and workshop leaders. I look forward to seeing new ventures bringing music into education and the community, providing young people in particular with the opportunity to develop and extend their skills.”