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Fees hike for council music lessons to aid struggling Camden Music Service

PUBLISHED: 15:00 10 December 2014 | UPDATED: 15:20 10 December 2014

Camden pupils perform at the Camden Music Festival, run by the Camden Music Service. Picture: Polly Hancock

Camden pupils perform at the Camden Music Festival, run by the Camden Music Service. Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

Council-run music lessons for children in Camden are to become more expensive to help keep a much-loved music service in place.

Subsidised fees for music lessons or clubs run by the Camden Music Service at schools across the borough are set to increase by about £2 next year to cope with budget pressures.

The music education service, which provides lessons, classes and bursaries for disadvantaged children, faces an annual £100,000 shortfall in its funding as a result of central government cuts.

Camden Music Trust, an independent charity which raises funds for the service, will increase the fees by 1.5 per cent in autumn 2015 to help sustain the service’s current musical programme for young people.

Schools have also pledged to renew a membership fee for the council’s music service after taking a year’s reprieve following a successful 12 months for the charity this year.

Next year is set to be the charity’s toughest ever financially because of increased staff costs and instrument maintenance.

The measures were proposed by school headteachers in favour of reducing the music education programme to a skeleton service.

Alan Seymour, chairman of Camden Music Trust, said: “I don’t think it’s going to lead to a parental revolt.

“Camden has done so well to preserve the best music service in London but it is difficult. We are doing all we can to raise the money but in these times, people aren’t able to give to charities.”

He added: “Next year will be the hardest year for the charity

“We are very hopeful that we will raise a considerable amount of money, but we are not sure it is going to be enough to keep the service going.”

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