A MUSIC charity active in the county for 26 years hopes a last minute plea to save its lifeline funding strikes a chord with councillors.

The Music Pool is one of 11 county arts organisations set to lose funding if the council - as expected - agrees a budget that cuts £65k in arts commissioning grants when it meets on Friday.

Music Pool administrator Dennis Schiavon said the “modest” £10.5k grant it gets was worth far more than the sum itself. This year alone the sum saw a ten-fold return.

The Pool’s supporters are lobbying councillors until the end to keep the money coming and are ready to settle for a smaller amount, said Dennis.

“This is a really difficult situation all round, and we don’t envy the Councillors at all, having to make decisions under such pressure from all directions,” he said.

To the Music Pool, the council’s grant is an official “stamp of approval”  vital in securing outside funding from the likes of the lottery, Youth Music & BBC Children in Need etc.

Over the past financial year the grant has  helped to generate 10 times more extra funding spread around a number of projects & areas of work.
Figures show that council money helped The Music Pool match-fund:

Gathering Wave / Three Choirs Festival community singing project
Arts Council England grant: £6,370 
ticket sales: £5,000
other sales: £2,448

Making a Splash! Music opportunities for local people
Fees from various inc. Courtyard & Food Festival: £11,375

Children & Young People with Special Needs & Disabilities
Fees from various, mostly special schools e.g. Barrs Court, Blackmarston, Westfield, plus Marches Family Network & others : £11,104

Youth Work – children & young people in challenging circumstances
National Foundation for Youth Music – Lottery grant: £38,906
Fees & ticket sales: £11,427

Work in Schools
Fees from schools: £7,635

Children under 5 yrs
Fees from nurseries, parent & tot groups etc.: £465

Children & Young People in Care
BBC Children in Need grant: £7,735

“That all adds up to £102,465, that  £10,500 helped to secure -  getting on for a ten-fold return,” said Mr Schiavon.  

The Music Pool, as it is now, took its operating name in 1998 having been founded 10 years earlier as Hereford Arts in Action.

Work done by the Music Pool goes on across the county in a range of settings from nurseries to residential homes a special focus on those deemed “most in need”  because of disability, financial hardship or rural isolation.