IW music hub must change to survive

By Emily Pearce

Friday, March 7, 2014


THE Isle of Wight Music Education Hub needs to be radically overhauled if it hopes to secure future funding, it has been warned.

Following a visit from Arts Council England (ACE) officers in December, it was made clear the hub — which provides tuition for young musicians on the Island — must become financially sustainable.

It is currently running at a loss of £150,000, which the IW Council said it could no longer afford to underwrite.

ACE, which funds the hub, has cut its funding from £400,000 two years ago to just £135,000 for the 2014/15 financial year, and the hub has had to reduce its costs as a result. The funding will run out next year, so the need for a new business plan is pressing.

The hub, created two years ago following drastic funding cuts to the IW Music Service, provides tuition to more than 2,600 schoolchildren every week. Around 400 children play in bands and ensembles.

According to a report due to be considered by the council cabinet on Tuesday (11): "The hub needs to be restructured to provide services which can be affordable for its customers to buy and its partners to offer. This is something ACE wants to see, to allow the hub to bid for a further three years' funding."

The report recommends launching a consultation this month with hub stakeholder, including music service staff and students, schools and community music groups. They will be asked their views on who should run the hub, how its overheads can be reduced and who should be offered tuition.

If the recommendation is approved, a decision on the future of the hub will be made in May.

Reporter: emilyp@iwcpmail.co.uk


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by Stephen Elliott

7th March 2014, at 22:27:23

Typical of our elected government. Pulling funding knowing that councils and funding bodies have to trim to cope.

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by Mike Crowe

7th March 2014, at 16:44:08

One doesn't have to play an instrument.
One doesn't have to know the difference between a crochet from a quaver or a minim from a semibreve, but "music" crosses boundaries and all barriers, so some form of music education in school is essential.
Might not be appreciated by the student now, unless the teacher is Miss Lewis at Ryde in the 1940's/1950's as was my inspiration, then music will last for ever.

County Hall. Get music into the children. Anything from Bach to the Beetles.

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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