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Music: North East

Volume 487: debated on Monday 9 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what recent steps the Government have taken to promote access to music for young people in the north-east. (249576)

In November 2007, the Department for Children, Schools and Families announced a £332 million investment in music education. A share of that is automatically allocated to local authorities in the north-east. Since September 2005, the Government have also provided time-limited funding of £1.26 million to the Sage Gateshead to work in partnership with local authorities and other music education providers to enhance opportunities for children and young people across the north-east through its ‘Access to Excellence’ work. A significant proportion of the ‘Access to Excellence’ programme has been delivered through Redcar Community College.

Since September 2006, the Department for Children, Schools and Families' Music and Dance Scheme (which provides means-tested support for children with exceptional potential in music and dance) has invested £638, 000 to enable children to access specialist provision via the Sage Gateshead.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport provides financial support for the arts through Arts Council England which has supported a number of projects that have helped promote music to young people in the north-east. This includes Youth Choir at Brinkburn Music Festival 2008 (Grants for the Arts Award of £22,000); Monumental Music CIC, Sunderland Music Club (Grants for the Arts Award of £13,420); and Interopera (Grants for the Arts Award of £13,420).

Since 1999, Youth Music, a regularly funded organisation of Arts Council England, has invested £4,583, 071 in the north-east, through open programmes, the Youth Music Action Zone (CoMusica) and the MusicLeader network for the region. Youth Music has provided a further £40,000 of direct investment in the north-east through Sing Up, the Music Manifesto National Singing Programme, of which Youth Music and the Sage Gateshead are partners.

Support has also been provided via other Arts Council England regularly funded organisations. This includes Jazz Action, which has set up the Milestones Project providing talented young musicians from the north-east with the opportunity to showcase their music in front of a live audience, and Monster Productions, based in the north-east, which run early year musicals throughout the country, including the north-east area.