Carbon neutral musical instruments will be given to all 7-year-old pupils in Wales thanks to Welsh Government funding and an innovative purchasing route.
In line with the new National Plan for Music Education, the children will be given their own Welsh manufactured ‘first experience’ brass or woodwind musical instrument in school.
The Welsh Government Commercial Delivery team (WGCD) worked in collaboration with the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) to procure 53,000 carbon neutral instruments through pMusic Cymru. pMusic Cymru is a consortium including two Welsh social enterprises; Elite Solutions and Merthyr Tydfil Institute for the Blind (MTIB), who are both working alongside Warwick Music Limited.
Working with the WLGA, the WGCD team established a dynamic purchasing system (DPS) to provide local authorities with a compliant route to market. The DPS includes a ‘reserved category’ for sheltered workshops where at least 30% of the employees of those workshops are disabled or disadvantaged workers. This directly contributes to the well-being goals of supporting a more prosperous, more equal, healthier and resilient Wales. pMusic Cymru was successful in securing a place on the DPS Agreement. WLGA used the agreement to award pMusic Cymru a £500k contract for the production and delivery of pBuzz and pCorder instruments, with assembly taking place at the two sheltered workshops.
The approach has supported the Welsh economy, secured best value for money, and created work opportunities for employees who live with a disability or who are disadvantaged.
Rebecca Evans, Minister for Finance and Local Government, said:
“I am delighted that both MTIB and Elite Solutions have been able to secure and create many new and existing Welsh jobs through pMusic’s successful bid.
“This contract demonstrates how we can use funding to add social value and promote sustainability. At the same time, we have ensured these instruments will be produced on a national scale and in a way that represents value for money.”
Steven Greenall, Chief Executive of Warwick Music Group, lead partner in the pMusic Cymru consortium said:
“The Welsh Government has made possible a world-beating project that will see tens of thousands of children in Wales having access to award-winning and carbon-neutral musical instruments for the very first time, assembled in Merthyr Tydfil.
“We have enjoyed working with our partners the Merthyr Tydfil Institute for the Blind and Elite, seeing a positive cycle of investment that benefits Welsh children, Welsh schools, the Welsh economy and employment for blind, disabled and disadvantaged people. Research studies demonstrate that outcomes for children will improve substantially when they have access to high quality creative subjects. This project is a blueprint that the music education world is watching with keen interest.”
Chris Llewelyn, WLGA Chief Executive said:
“We are proud to work with the Welsh Government on this national strategy to procure and assemble instruments in Wales by investing in excellent quality and sustainable instruments made in Merthyr Tydfil. The instruments will be delivered to children in primary schools across Wales to help support the aims of the new National Music Service. These instruments will enable young learners to experience the joy of music through playing their first musical instruments.
“We would like to thank the entire pMusic Cymru consortium who have created these fantastic instruments for pupils across Wales while also ensuring that many jobs were supported and created in the process.”
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