New funding boost is music to Wiltshire centre’s ears

This Is Wiltshire: Wiltshire Music Centre’s executive director Clare Jack, left, celebrates with artistic director James Slater, box office supervisor Hayley Stevens, facilities co-ordinator Chris Phillips, fundraiser Sara Millward-Oliver and marketing chief Gary Prestwic Wiltshire Music Centre’s executive director Clare Jack, left, celebrates with artistic director James Slater, box office supervisor Hayley Stevens, facilities co-ordinator Chris Phillips, fundraiser Sara Millward-Oliver and marketing chief Gary Prestwic

Wiltshire Music Centre can continue delivering a programme of activities after receiving a £101,675 funding from Arts Council England.

The centre, in Bradford on Avon, is just one of seven organisations in Wiltshire that will be part of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio for 2015/18.

The money will be paid annually for three years from the end of March 2015, and ensures that the award-winning purpose built venue can continue to present just over 100 events and concerts a year across musical genres, as well as continue its education and community programme.

Clare Jack, executive director of the centre, said: “It is fantastic news and brilliant for the team, audience and volunteers.

“It means we can carry on providing fantastic programmes with some degree of comfort over the next three years.

“We are very grateful to the Arts Council for recognising the work the goes on here. We have been fortunate to receive Arts Council funding from the National Portfolio programme for the past nine years but were very aware of the cuts and certainly did not assume that we would be successful in this round of funding.

“We have worked hard to keep the level of funding requested from the Arts Council to a minimum, and to maximise other income streams while maintaining our commitment to music-making of the highest quality combined with our core education and community commitments.”

Phil Gibby, area director, South West, Arts Council England said: “This is an extremely strong portfolio of organisations delivering high quality arts and cultural experiences to audiences throughout the South West.

“Due to budget restraints we were not able to fund a number of very good applications.

“However, we are delighted that we have maintained or increased our level of support to so many of our core organisations. We will continue to work to ensure that ambition, artistic adventure and entrepreneurial spirit are kept alive so that a strong countrywide cultural ecology is nurtured.”

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