Education Secretary, Kirsty Williams today announced £1 million to establish a National Endowment for Music, which will enable more young people to access musical opportunities.
The National Endowment for Music, a joint initiative between Kirsty Williams and Ken Skates, the Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure, is a new and innovative approach to supporting young people to develop their talents in music.
The initial contribution of £1m will be provided to the Arts Council of Wales to cover the set up costs of the Endowment with a further contribution to be made to the seed fund once it is in place. It is our ambition that the fund will eventually generate at least £1m per year, which will be used to fund additional music activities for young people across the country.
Kirsty Williams said,
“The National Endowment for Music will help ensure that all our young people, from whatever background, can develop their talents and skills through music.
“During my time as Cabinet Secretary visiting schools across the country, I continue to be impressed and inspired by the musical talent of our young people and the schools that promote such opportunities. I want to build on this success and extend these opportunities throughout Wales.
“Having experiences outside the classroom is a sure way to help children build confidence and discover what inspires them. In time, this Endowment will provide extra chances for young people to access important education experiences.”
Economy Secretary Ken Skates said,
“If you were to ask people around the world to name things they associate with Wales, their list would undoubtedly involve music. From our traditional choirs to musicians who perform across the globe, Wales punches well above its weight. We need to make sure the next generation can carry on this great tradition.
“Local authority music services have been badly affected by the austerity imposed by the Westminster Government. This £1 million contribution is intended as a catalyst, a demonstration to potential donors of our commitment to the arts and to our musical heritage.”
Phil George, Chair of Arts Council of Wales added,
“Challenging times call for determined action. It’s more important than ever that we provide opportunities for young people to enrich their lives through artistic expression. This new fund is an invitation to private and corporate donors to join the Welsh Government in nurturing young musical talents and helping them delight and amaze us all.”
Karl Napieralla who chaired the Music Services Task and Finish Group, which recommended establishing the fund said,
“I am delighted that one of the recommendations from the Task and Finish Group is coming to fruition. Hopefully the funding will help secure the future opportunities for young people in Wales from whatever background to enjoy and participate in music.”
The National Endowment for Music builds on the £20 million Creative Learning through the Arts Plan to support creative teaching and learning in schools.
The Endowment is our long term, sustainable approach to increasing musical opportunities for the young people of Wales.