I was very concerned to learn that Lewisham Music is yet to receive confirmation of its Arts Council England grant for the new financial year (now less than three weeks away).
Without this grant, Lewisham Music will have to terminate its service level agreements with local schools and lose 62 employed positions. I have written to the Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson, to ask for an urgent decision to be made.
Here is the text of my letter:
Re: Lewisham Music
I am writing on behalf of Lewisham Music, which delivers, supports and promotes a broad range of music education opportunities for children and young people in my constituency.
In common with other music hubs, Lewisham Music is dependent on an annual grant from the Department for Education administered by Arts Council England.
With less than three weeks to go before the start of the new financial year, the organisation still has not received any information about the level of next year’s grant, or indeed whether it will receive any grant at all.
I understand that if the situation is not rectified immediately, Lewisham Music will have no choice but to terminate its service level agreements with local schools. This will negatively impact over 8000 young people in the borough immediately, and thousands more in the longer term. As a charity, it will not be able to survive without this core funding and 62 employed positions will be lost.
I am calling on you to make an urgent decision on this funding. No organisation should be subjected to this level of uncertainty, especially one which provides such vital opportunities for our young people.
I hope to hear from you very soon.
Vicky Foxcroft MP