News

Bristol’s music education hub awarded £1.1m of Arts Council funding

This week we’ve heard the fantastic news that Bristol Plays Music, our sister organisation run by Bristol Music Trust leading music education in Bristol, has had its work secured for a further two years thanks to a funding award of just over £1 million.

Bristol Plays Music works with schools, communities and cultural organisations to promote inclusion, diversity and wellbeing through music, performance and workforce development.

The £1.1m funding from Arts Council England will enable the organisation to continue to undertake its award winning work providing music education for the city, as well increasing its focus on improving outcomes for children experiencing challenging circumstances.

Bristol Plays Music currently helps 8,500 children and young people to sing, learn and play every week in schools and music centres. This funding will guarantee that this work can continue to take place for the next two years, and will provide a solid base for the activities of the new National Centre for Inclusive Excellence, which will be based at the transformed Colston Hall.

Moreover, by working in partnership with more schools and communities, Bristol Plays Music aims to nurture creativity in more young people and help remedy the decline in the uptake of arts subjects recently reported by the Royal College of Music.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds, who today visited one of the schools provisioned by Bristol Plays Music, said:

“Music and the performing arts are a passion for so many young people in this country. I am delighted that Bristol Plays Music will be now able to create more opportunities for students from all backgrounds to access the education they need to progress as young performers.”

Phil Castang, Director of Creative Learning and Engagement of Bristol Music Trust said:

“This funding is a real mark of confidence for our work and will enable us to continue to support children and young people in schools and community settings across Bristol to have access to an inclusive and high-quality music education programme.”

Phil Gibby, Area Director, South West, Arts Council England, said:

“We are really proud to support Bristol Plays Music to continue their excellent work, creating opportunities for teaching, learning and performance in a way that everyone can access.

“Their aim to make sure that every young person has access to music education activities and a platform for musical expression chimes with our mission of great art and culture for everyone. We look forward to working with them as they continue to help children and young people discover and develop their talents and support the city’s rich and diverse musical talent.”

The funding success comes shortly after Bristol Music Trust announced it will receive £600,000 over four years to establish the country’s first National Centre for Inclusive Excellence (NCIE) for young musicians with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).