by Author Matt Griffiths

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Youth Music launches refreshed grants programme

Today we are pleased to launch a refreshed grants programme in line with our vision for a musically inclusive England.

Currently, Youth Music's grants support almost 400 projects around the country, representing an investment of more than £20m. Our refreshed programme is based on feedback and evaluation reports from Youth Music funded projects over the last two years. We have refined some elements of our existing grants programme, maintaining an outcomes and evidence-based approach which has children and young people at its heart. We have simplified the application process and split the programme into three funds (A, B and C) from which you can choose, depending on the size and scope of your project.

Through our refreshed grants programme, we want to strengthen partnership working between organisations to promote diversity and  achieve the best outcomes for young people, particularly those in challenging circumstances.  We believe this renewed emphasis will achieve greater musical inclusion across the music education sector in line with the aspirations set out in the National Plan for Music Education, and Music Education Hubs partnerships.

Although the government’s recent announcement of an additional £18m investment in music education has been welcomed across the sector, disparities in access and inclusion remain. The number of pupils accessing subsidised music education is now running at six percentage points less than the 18% of the total pupil population receiving free school meals.  Free school meal status is widely used as the criteria for receiving a subsidy, which suggests that many who can least afford it are still not receiving a music education.

Youth Music’s refreshed grants programme aims to tackle these disparities with investment targeted at children in challenging circumstances who would otherwise miss out.

We hope to see an increase in music-making opportunities by raising the qualifying age limit to 25 years, in recognition of the challenges faced by young people in their transition to adulthood, particularly at a time of significant youth unemployment. In addition, a wider range of organisations may now be supported with a new award of between £2,000 and £30,000 available for smaller organisations or projects.

All Youth Music grant applicants will be expected to embed our Quality Framework in their projects to help support young people’s progression in and through music.


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