Kirsty Williams AM, Minister for Education
It is essential that all our young people have access to music education. I recognise that more must be done to support every child, regardless of their background, to have the opportunity to develop their talents and skills.
I am therefore pleased to announce a further £500,000 in 2018-19 and 2019-20, in addition to the £1million previously agreed with Plaid Cymru, to support music activities for young people in Wales.
In 2018-19, £1.4 million of funding will be provided directly to local authorities to prioritise, as they see fit according to local needs, against a range of suggested criteria towards the provision of high quality, universal access to music education for all learners.
My officials are continuing with the work following the recommendations of the Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee report ‘Hitting the Right Note’ following its inquiry into funding for and access to music education. Funding worth £100,000 has been made available to complete this work and ensure any future plan for music services in Wales are fully sustainable.
I have also made available an additional £100,000 in 2018-19 to be awarded to National Youth Arts Wales to support the important work they are doing and increase opportunities for our young musicians.
I would like to thank Bethan Sayed, Chair of the Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee, for her invaluable support in taking this work forward.
This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Assembly returns I would be happy to do so.