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Youth Music Business Plan 2016-20

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Towards a Musically Inclusive England

Young people's relationship with music in this country is passionate, eclectic, rebellious and constant. Music is being made and listened to in ways that would have been inconceivable just twenty years ago. The pace of change is rapid and will continue to be so.

But so many children and young people - particularly those experiencing challenges in their lives - miss out on opportunities to regularly make music, to progress and fulfill their potential. We want to address this imbalance and tackle it head-on.

In putting this plan together we have reflected on our achievements and challenges, particularly those of the past four years.  It has been a time of change: we’ve sharpened our core purpose, we’ve restructured, we’ve rebranded, we’ve simplified our grants programme, and we’ve implemented a fit-for-purpose fundraising strategy.

We successfully underwent a review of our role and purpose with Arts Council England (ACE) in 2014, leading to recognition of our expertise and confirmation of our National Lottery funding of £28.95m for the period April 2015 to March 2018.

Youth Music is committed to working alongside ACE as a key strategic partner, helping to achieve their 10-year strategy: Great Art and Culture for Everyone. We embrace the principles of the Cultural Education Challenge: access, reach, diversity, quality, impact/accountability and voice of young people. And we believe strongly in ACE’s Creative Case, which states that “diversity and equality are crucial to the arts because they sustain, refresh, replenish and release the true potential of England’s artistic talent, regardless of people’s background.”

In the next four years we intend to play a greater role in driving change to achieve the ambitions set out in the government’s National Plan for Music Education. Published in 2011, the plan signalled significant changes in the structure of the music education sector. A central tenet was the formation of Music Education Hubs across England. These were intended to be collections of organisations working together - led by 123 lead organisations - to strategically plan and deliver music education activities in and out of school.

Our goal is to support the sector by providing leadership and expertise to embed high quality musical inclusion practice, particularly within Music Education Hubs.

We will continue to implement and refine our regional portfolio-balancing process - proactively targeting areas of need based on the data we compile for each of the regions in England - to address geographic funding imbalances. Targeting investment using this process is essential to ensure that opportunities continue to be available where they’re needed most.

Put simply, our ambition is to achieve a musically inclusive England.

Matt Griffiths, CEO of Youth Music