Home News Kent Music successful in bid to lead music education across Kent & Medway
Posted on: 7 May, 2024

Kent Music successful in bid to lead music education across Kent & Medway

We are thrilled to announce that Kent Music has been successful in our bid to become the Lead Organisation for the new Kent & Medway Music Hub, as part of an ambitious national programme to provide high-quality music education for all children and young people. This article follows an announcement by Arts Council England on May 7th 2024.

Supported by Arts Council England with funding from the Department for Education, Music Hubs support, deliver and enable access to music education for children and young people through partnerships with organisations including schools, further education providers, cultural organisations and local authorities. Each Hub is led by a Hub Lead Organisation (HLO), which is responsible for the Hub’s relationship with Arts Council England and receives and distributes funding, leading the music education strategy in the Hub area.

In 2023, Arts Council England confirmed that there will be 43 Music Hubs from September 2024, replacing the existing 118 Music Education Hubs. A bidding process followed to identify the 43 new Hub Lead Organisations that were announced in early May 2024.

Kent Music have led the Music Education Hub for Kent for the past decade and we now assume the role as Hub Lead Organisation for the geographical area of Kent & Medway. In leading the Kent & Medway Hub, we are excited to set new milestones, expand our impact, and nurture the talents of children and young people across the area.

We are uniquely positioned, having worked in Medway for half a century, and have strong connections with Medway Council, the University of Kent and other local organisations. We also runs the successful Medway Towns Music Centre in Rochester where 200 people learn to play instruments, sing in choirs, and play in groups each week.

The new Kent & Medway Hub will come into being in September 2024. Our focus as an organisation will now will be to engage with schools, teachers, music organisations and other potential partners and to listen to what they need from the Music Hub, ahead of consultation and publication of plans. These plans will include:

  • Supporting schools to deliver a high-quality curriculum as well as instrumental teaching, groups and choirs.
  • Embedding an inclusive approach, ensuring that programmes offered by the Music Hub cater to diverse needs.
  • Supporting a wide age span ranging from early years to supporting progression from school into universities, music colleges and careers in the creative industries.

Our Chief Executive Peter Bolton said, “We are thrilled to have been successful in our bid to champion and facilitate opportunities for high quality music education across Kent and Medway, working collaboratively with our partner organisations. In particular we are looking forward to working with colleagues and partners in Medway.”

“Over the next six months, we will be conducting a detailed needs analysis of Medway in consultation with schools, cultural organisations, public bodies and other organisations that provide services for children and young people.”

“We will publish a detailed strategy towards the end of the year, enabling us to fulfil the commitments set out in our bid and deliver on our ongoing mission to develop musical opportunities that support the aspirations of children and young people in Kent & Medway.”

Darren Henley, Chief Executive of Arts Council England, said: “Music education is enormously powerful – it can enrich young people’s lives, help them connect with the people around them, and start them on the pathway to fruitful and fulfilling careers. We are excited to announce this investment in a new generation of Music Hubs, which will support the brilliant work of our dedicated music teachers across the country, and help bring high-quality music education to even more children and young people in every part of England.”

Hazel Edwards, South East Area Director, Arts Council England, said: “We are so pleased to bring forward a new generation of Music Hubs in the South East, ensuring all children and young people can learn and make music. They will do so thanks to the investment committed by the Department for Education, including an additional fund to invest in musical instruments, equipment and technology so that children and young people’s creativity can flourish. We are thrilled to help nurture the musical interests of all children and young people in the South East, no matter who they are, or where they live.”

You can read Arts Council England’s ammouncement on their website.

This is an exciting time for music education in Kent and Medway, a region rich in music, talent, and enthusiasm. We are looking forward to working closely with our partners to continue to foster music in the area.

About Arts Council England

‘Arts Council England is the national development agency for creativity and culture. We have set out our strategic vision in Let’s Create that by 2030 we want England to be a country in which the creativity of each of us is valued and given the chance to flourish and where everyone of us has access to a remarkable range of high-quality cultural experiences. From 2023 to 2026 we will invest over £467 million of public money from Government and an estimated £250 million from The National Lottery each year to help support the sector and to deliver this vision. www.artscouncil.org.uk.’

About Kent Music

Kent Music is a registered education charity and lead partner for the Music Hub in Kent & Medway. They deliver instrumental and vocal teaching, ensemble classes and courses, music labs, local community Music Centres, county orchestras and choirs and the historic Kent Music Summer School for thousands of eager young musicians, all year round. From supporting young orchestral musicians to fostering new bands and providing creative spaces for young electronic musicians to experiment, they support music making in all its forms.

Kent Music is a partner in music education with Kent County Council and the Hub is funded by the Department for Education through Arts Council England.

Media enquiries

For media enquiries please contact Zoe Emmitt or Miranda Chapman at Pillory Barn on 01622 684407 or email zoe@pillorybarn.co.uk and miranda@pillorybarn.co.uk.