Issue - meetings

Southern Pro Music

Meeting: 08/07/2021 - Community Executive Advisory Board (Item 29)

29 Classical Music Grant pdf icon PDF 172 KB

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The current recipient of the Classical Music Grant was Southern Pro Musica (SPM).  The related mandate was introduced by the Leader of the Council who explained that the mandate formed part of the agreed Savings Strategy, which constituted one of four strands of the Council’s commitment to addressing its budget gap over the next five years.  Whilst the contributions of all organisations in receipt of a Council grant were valued, it was necessary for the Council to identify savings as it was not in a financial position to continue to fund the organisations at the same level as in previous years.  The EAB’s views in respect of the mandate options were welcomed.


The mandate consisted of a Strategy, Options, Considerations, Resources, and the strategic Risks, Assumptions, Issues, Dependencies, Constraints and Opportunities.  The Strategy and Communications Manager advised that the strategic options available to the Council to deliver a solution consisted of:


a)           Do Nothing - Allow the existing agreement with SPM to end in June 2021 and cease funding classical music provision in the Borough to deliver a financial saving of £60,000 per annum.

b)           Do Something - Due to Covid-19 related disruption to the musical programme, SPM had agreed that £30,000 of its 2020/21 funding would be rolled forward into the next financial year.  With expected continued Covid-19 disruption, invite SPM to provide a reduced programme in 2021/22 at a cost of £30,000 pending a review of future classical music provision.

c)           Do More - Enter a new funding agreement with SPM to deliver a reduced future programme at a lower annual cost to the Council or invite expressions of interest from classical music providers to offer a programme of classical music at a lower annual cost to the Council.

d)           Do Most - Extend the existing funding agreement with SPM on the existing terms and invite expressions of interest from classical music providers to offer a programme of classical music on similar terms to the existing.


At its meeting on 27 January 2021, the Executive / Management Team Liaison Group had recommended that the £30,000 underspent grant from 2020/21 be rolled forward into 2021/22 to enable SPM to deliver a reduced programme and that the grant be discontinued in future years.


Further to related questions, comments and discussion, the following points arose:


1.           In-year financial savings were being sought during the current year in line with the Savings Strategy and SPM had been advised accordingly.

2.           The councillor representative for liaison with SPM advised that the organisation had a strong appreciative following in the Guildford area and this sentiment was echoed by other councillors.

3.           SPM had commenced preparation of a reduced programme of events, including a variety of concerts and the ‘Strings Scheme’ work with schools, in the expectation that the unspent returned portion of last year’s grant, amounting to £30,000, would be rolled forward for expenditure in 2021/22.  It was confirmed that this would be the case and councillors indicated that the reduced programme was impressive  ...  view the full minutes text for item 29