£2.3M funding for new Music Education Hub announced

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FUNDING of £2.3m for a Music Education Hub in West Sussex was announced on Friday.

The new Hub is one of a nationwide network of 122 and follows a bid from West Sussex County Council (WSCC) Music Service, who will be the lead organisation.

The money, to last over a three year period, will come from Arts Council England, who use government and national lottery cash to promote the arts.

The council hope the Hub will encourage local organisations to come together to provide musical education in and out of schools. All children between ages five and 18 will have the chance to sing or learn to play a musical instrument.

The news has been welcomed by Peter Griffiths, cabinet member for Education and Schools, who described it as a ‘remarkable achievement’ for West Sussex.

He said: “At a time of severe constraint it is excellent news that our outstanding music service in West Sussex has received such financial recognition effectively from the government.

“It means we can combine our work with a range of partners from the private, voluntary and charitable sectors, business and the music industry.”

Roger Crocker, head of West Sussex Music Service, said: “The new Hub will mean new ways of working and bring benefits to the whole community. Working with our partners, it will mean more activities and centres, and more opportunities.

“Among those who will benefit will be people with special needs and disabilities and the gifted and talented.”

Schools Minister Nick Gibb, MP for Bognor Regis and Littlehampton, said the new Hubs formed ‘an integral part of our national plan for music education’.

“All children wherever they live, and whatever their circumstances, should have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument and to play and sing with others,” he added.

Work will now begin with the private, voluntary and charitable sectors, as well as the music industry, to shape the way in which the new service will operate.