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The borough-wide organisation hope to become self-sufficient after two years
A youth music organisation says it is confident about its future after a funding agreement with Harrow Borough Council was announced yesterday.
Harrow Young Musicians (HYM) will still have its budget cut and receive £50,000 over the next two years, but its leader says this will be enough to allow it to keep providing borough-wide music tuition.
The organisation, which previously received £58,000 per year from the council, will receive £30,000 in 2013 and £20,000 in 2014.
HYM director Mark Gooding said he was satisfied with the "incremental" cut.
He added: “Removing the grant completely would inevitably mean that poorer children would miss out and what I wasn’t prepared to consider was hiking the fees up.
“When I was at school I had a free instrument, a free lesson and the orchestra was free.”
The group hopes to become self-sufficient after the two years is up. Mr Gooding added: “We are confident for the future.
“We are planning at least two years ahead and giving us that amount of time means we can apply for other grants.”
The council confirmed it would not be able to support the current funding arrangements to meet its spending gap of £24 million over the next two years.
It has also been proposed that HYM will either allocate £10,000 of existing reserves to help with its running costs or sufficiently increase their fundraising activities.
The organisation will review its fees in order to look at generating additional income and reducing costs wherever possible.
Harrow Council will investigate with the Arts Council whether it can allocate additional funds to HYM, from the funding it receives for the Harrow Education Music Hub.
The council will help with the recruitment of new members, provide support for running the website and admin, offer funding advice and help with seeking external grant funding.
Cllr David Perry, portfolio holder for community and cultural services said: “It was good that we had a consultation and we listened.
“Harrow Young Musicians were very honest with us and we were very honest with them.
“I’m very pleased that they engaged us directly on the issue but we have to make some very difficult decisions.
“We are all aware of the exceptional work that HYM do in the borough.
“They help many different people from many different backgrounds and we are happy to be presented with the chance to help.”
Harrow Council's budget still needs to be ratified by the full council meeting on February 28.