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Barnsley MPs Discuss Brass Bands With Culture Minister

Friday April 19 2013

Michael Dugher, Ed Vaizey, John Healey and Dan Jarvis Michael Dugher, Ed Vaizey, John Healey and Dan Jarvis

THREE Barnsley MPs met with the Culture Minister on April 15 to discuss funding for brass bands in the UK.

Michael Dugher, Dan Jarvis and John Healey initially asked for the meeting with Ed Vaizey following reports that the world famous Grimethorpe Colliery Band could be forced to stop playing, before it secured much-needed short-term funding from two Barnsley companies.

At the meeting, the Barnsley MPs called on Mr Vaizey to help ensure that brass bands are accessing the various Arts Council funding streams available. Mr Vaizey acknowledged that more needs to be done and said he will write to the MPs to outline clearly which funding programmes are suitable for brass bands to apply.

For many years there has been an unfair distribution of funding between different musical art forms and this has particularly affected brass bands. In 2011/12, the Arts Council allocated funding totalling £26million to the Royal Opera House in London and the English National Ballet received £6.4million.

Jazz Services Ltd, an organisation that represents jazz bands, also received £433,723.

In comparison, the organisation responsible for supporting 458 brass band groups nationwide, the British Federation of Brass Bands (now Brass Bands England), only received £23,000.

“The meeting with Mr Vaizey was very useful," said John Healey. "The situation facing Grimethrope Colliery Brass Band is mirrored across the country and we welcome his acknowledgement that more needs to be done to make sure brass bands are accessing the available Arts Council funding programmes.“

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Reply Posted by d c johnson on Monday April 14 2014 at 19:20
Having tried and tried to get the Arts Council to support the brass band movement, I'm quite sure they and the BBC will let this blip pass, then carry on funding and supporting what interests them. To the BBC and the Arts Council, brass bands are
the world of the cloth cap and poorly-educated bumpkins.