Jobs fear over £700,000 Tees Valley Music Service funding cut

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Thirteen jobs are at risk following a £700,000 cut in Arts Council funding for the Tees Valley Music Service.

The service, managed by Stockton Borough Council, provides teaching resources for pre-school children through to sixth form students.

A consultation period with staff has begun and will run until 20 January.

The service has given 25,000 youngsters access to music in Stockton, Middlesbrough, Hartlepool and Redcar & Cleveland.

The funding cut will lead to "a revision to staffing structures, incremental changes to fees and charges, and a new model of service delivery", according to the council.

A spokeswoman said voluntary redundancies would be sought among teaching staff.

'Bad news'

Alex Cunningham, Labour MP for Stockton North, described the announcement as "bad news for music, musicians and teachers".

Councillor Ann McCoy, cabinet member for Children and Young People at the council, said it is hoped the range and availability of music services will be maintained.

In May last year, the Arts Council announced it was to provide £3m funding for the service over three years.

The money was to be spent making sure pupils had the chance to take part in music lessons, learn to sing and play instruments.

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