Kirsty Williams, Cabinet Secretary for Education
Just over a year ago my predecessor, Huw Lewis, published his response to the task and finish group on music services in Wales. This valuable report contained a wide range of recommendations, aimed at schools, local authorities and the Welsh Government, to support Wales’ ‘pyramid’ structure for progression of musical and vocal training.
Today I am publishing an update report on the progress made towards implementing the task and finish group’s recommendations.
While the full implementation of these recommendations may take some time, I am encouraged by the progress that has been made over the last year, working in collaboration across Wales to safeguard and extend musical opportunities for our children.
I know that Wales has a passionate and dedicated network of music services and music teachers, who inspire our young people to perform and grow in confidence and skill, and I want to support them in this task. Therefore, in partnership with schools, the WLGA and the arts organisations of Wales, the Welsh Government will continue to support music activities for young people, all the way from the classroom to the national ensembles.
In partnership with the Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure, I have established a National Endowment for Music, which will receive a £1 million investment from Welsh Government. The National Endowment for Music is intended to be our long term approach to providing enhanced music opportunities for our young people.
We have commissioned the Arts Council of Wales to begin setting up the endowment and are aiming to launch the Endowment, which will be managed by an independent charitable board, by the end of the year.
The number and nature of grants offered by the fund, which is expected to start issuing them from 2020, will depend on attracting a variety of partner investments. We will engage with a range of approaches; corporate and industry sponsors, one off dedicated deals, individual donors and ticket levies, so that we can start supporting as many young people as we can to access additional music opportunities, as soon as possible.
I know that working together we can protect Wales’ fantastic musical heritage, securing if for the next generation, and ensuring that our young people continue to benefit from a cultural life that is rich in music and the arts.