Music hubs get £79 million funding boost


Music hubs across England have been granted additional funding for an extra year, after the government committed £79 million.

According to Arts Council England, the funding is a marginal increase on that given for the current year, which expires on 31 March 2020.

Two music associations – Music Mark and the Incorporated Society of Musicians – had requested £100 million annually to support the ongoing development of the hubs across the next five years.

Music hubs were first set up in 2012 with a £300 million funding package and are sets of organisations that focus on enhancing music education in key areas.

The project has seen schools, local authorities and community groups working together to ensure that any young people that want to learn how to play an instrument have the opportunities to do so.

Previous studies have highlighted regional differences in per-pupil spend at hubs across the country, while the number of pupils receiving teaching has been increasing gradually year-on-year.

However, the overall uptake of music at GCSE level has been declining, which even led the all-parliamentary group for music education to call for action in February 2019.

The group also suggested that schools which fail to provide a quality level of music education should have that reflected by their Ofsted rating.

It comes as leading violinist and campaigner for music education Nicola Benedetti described music as being “vital” to young people’s education.

She said music “fires the imagination in young minds”, when addressing members of the Royal Philharmonic Society at an event at Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School in London.

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