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Snobs in Whitehall penalise banding

Barnsley East Labour MP accuses Government snobbery over attitude to funding of brass bands.



Michael Dugher, the MP for Barnsley East has accused the Coalition Government of ‘snobbery’ following the news that the future of Grimethorpe Colliery Band is under threat due to financial pressures.


In a news article published in the South Yorkshire Times he highlighted the fact that the Royal Opera House received over £26 million in Arts Council funding and the English National Ballet received nearly £6.4 million. This compares to what he believed was just £23,000 for the British Federation of Brass Bands (now Brass Bands England).


He is quoted as saying: "The current plight of the Grimethorpe Colliery Band highlights the very real financial pressures facing brass bands across the UK.

Brass bands are an important part of our heritage, but when it comes to government funding and grants, they are clearly undervalued and under-appreciated."

He added: "Last year, the Royal Opera House received over £26 million in Arts Council funding and the English National Ballet received nearly £6.4 million. This compares to just £23,000 for the British Federation of Brass Bands. More resources are being committed but it is a drop in the ocean compared to other arts."


He continued: "Only snobbery at the heart of Whitehall can possibly explain why Brass Bands are not given the support they deserve compared to other branches of the arts. The Government must re-examine its priorities and look at how it can distribute funding more fairly."

Last year, the Royal Opera House received over £26 million in Arts Council funding and the English National Ballet received nearly £6.4 millionMichael Dugher


Further reports appear in the Yorkshire Post and Sheffield Star newspapers.




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