BIRMINGHAM’S Services For Education, which teaches music to 38,000 school children each week, is to receive up to £656,000 from the Culture Recovery Fund – the Arts Council Government-backed fund that is supporting cultural organisations. It is the second Arts Council grant to be received during the pandemic by Services For Education.
The grant is part of the Government’s £1.57 billion package to protect the UK’s culture and heritage sectors from the economic impacts of COVID-19, with the Culture Recovery Fund supporting cultural organisations as they transition back to a viable and sustainable operating model during April-June 2021.
The charity is one of a number of cultural and creative organisations based in the West Midlands to receive funding and follows a successful application made earlier this year. The announcement came just days after Services For Education picked up a major national award for its Online Learning Resource to support schools and children during the pandemic and the day after its three-day online Spring Schools’ Proms featuring more than 1,500 talented young musicians from the city’s schools.
Sharon Bell, Chief Executive of Services For Education, said she was ‘overjoyed’ when she learned of the news, she said:
“It’s been a tough year, and there are significant challenges ahead, but this funding is not only welcome financial support to enable us to continue our work using music to support vulnerable children and young people across the city but also a vote of confidence in our ability to continue to deliver our invaluable work.”
Services For Education employs nearly 250 people in the city and uses the power of learning and music to create and build confidence in local children, young people, adults and communities. It embarked on a major programme of online tuition and concerts during the pandemic – including virtual concerts and online learning.
Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said:
“Our record-breaking Culture Recovery Fund has already helped thousands of culture and heritage organisations across the country survive the biggest crisis they’ve ever faced. Now we’re staying by their side as they prepare to welcome the public back through their doors – helping our cultural gems plan for reopening and thrive in the better times ahead.”
Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair, Arts Council England, said:
“Investing in a thriving cultural sector at the heart of communities is a vital part of helping the whole country to recover from the pandemic. These grants will help re-open theatres, concert halls, and museums and give artists and companies the opportunity to begin making new work. We are grateful to the Government for this support and for recognising the paramount importance of culture to our sense of belonging and identity as individuals and as a society.”
Sharon Bell added:
“We are hugely grateful to the Arts Council and Government for supporting us in a common goal of enabling culture to recover. Our work with children brings music to their lives and enables them to learn and play together. We will continue to work with our schools and other cultural education partners across the city to ensure that our children and communities are able to recover.”