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Kirklees Music School looks to the future after council budget cut falls on music lessons

27th February 2015

KMS say to cut whole budget is “incredibly harsh” and thank public for support

The sound of music will continue, despite cuts to musical education funding.

That was the pledge by Kirklees Music School, who will lose £296,000 of its budget after Kirklees councillors agreed to drastic £69m budget cuts.

They will hit a range of services, including the music school, over the next three years.

The music school’s funding cut will come in 2016/17.

It is thought two of its seven centres will close, affecting the 60 teachers who teach around 10,000 young people every week.

Thom Meredith, principal of KMS said: “Having watched the four-hour council meeting, it was obvious that councillors had an incredibly difficult task on their hands – having to make huge cuts to the budget whilst trying to maintain a vibrant borough.

“We are not the only organisation to be hit, by any means, but removing every penny of support seems incredibly harsh to me.

“We want music to be experienced by everyone and the council money has enabled us to provide musical experiences for those in Kirklees on low incomes who may otherwise not be able to afford tuition, looked after children and talented young people who will go on to make music their career.

“Council money has aided our success in keeping music alive and at heart of our schools and community through live performances and the work of the seven music centres across Kirklees.”

Mr Meredith said they were grateful for the “groundswell of support” they have received since the threat of a funding cut was announced last year.

Mr Meredith added: “I am incredibly grateful to all the parents, carers, teachers, young people and students past and present who have shown so much passion for the music that they value so much.

“I am extremely disappointed that the letters, petitions and campaigns via social media backed by thousands, have come to nothing, but I am determined that Kirklees Music School will continue to be a respected and flourishing force into the future.

“I am lucky to have a very talented and committed workforce and we will now need to work together to ensure music remains alive and well in this area.”

Read more on the Examiner website