Brass bands funding issue raised by MPs with minister

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South Yorkshire MPs have met a Government minister to discuss funding for brass bands.

Michael Dugher, Dan Jarvis and John Healey raised the issue after fears the world-famous Grimethorpe Colliery Band could be forced to fold, due to a lack of money.

The three Labour MPs, who represent Barnsley East, Barnsley Central and Wentworth and Dearne respectively, met Ed Vaizey, culture minister.

Mr Vaizey was urged to ‘help ensure brass bands are accessing various Arts Council funding streams available’.

The minister acknowledged more needs to be done and said he will write to the MPs to outline clearly which funding programmes are suitable for brass bands.

He also agreed to organise a meeting with the Arts Council.

Mr Dugher, Mr Jarvis and Mr Healey compared the £23,000 of Arts Council funding paid to Brass Bands England with 
£26 million awarded to the Royal Opera House in London and £6.4m for the English National Ballet.

Jazz Services, an organisation representing jazz bands, received £433,723.

Mr Healey said: “We welcome the minister’s acknowledgement that more needs to be done.”