Memorandum submitted jointly by the Department
for Culture, Media and Sport and the Department for Education
ARTS DEVELOPMENTMUSICAL THEATRE
The Committee has invited submissions tackling
the issues raised by the Committee on the 14 October 2003. DCMS
and DfES can contribute the following information on their relationship
with the National Youth Music Theatre and Youth Music. The
significance of the National Youth Music Theatre within musical
theatreas well as the wider educational scene particularly
in enthusing and developing pre-professional musical theatre performers;
the contribution of other organisations to these goals;
The National Youth Music Theatre (NYMT) over
many years has enabled very talented young performers to have
their first taste of participating in high quality musical productions.
Its programmes have given young people invaluable experience of
working alongside professional artists and crew, and have provided
an important stepping stone into the profession. NYMT has become
recognised as an important progression route within the professional
musical theatre sector.
NYMT is one of a number of "flagship"
national youth music organisations (NYMOs)
that receive funding through Youth Music. Historically, these
organisations had tended to fall in the gaps between the arts
and education funding systems until, in 2001-02, DCMS officials
worked with colleagues from Arts Council England, DfES and Youth
Music to broker a joint solution to this problem. This resulted
in an agreement between DfES, the Arts Council and Youth Music
to designate a pot of funding to support the NYMOs. Details of
the fund, which is managed by Youth Music, are attached at Annex
The aim of the new fund was first to enable
the NYMOs to expand, develop and increase access to their excellent
artistic, education and training programmes. While NYMT has experienced
severe financial difficulties in the past few months, the fund
has succeeded in helping to place the other NYMOs on a more secure
The performance of NYMT in meeting its own
objectives, contributing to the objectives of its public funders
and as a steward of public money.
Right up until the scale of its present difficulties
became apparent, NYMT has continued to produce work of the highest
quality and has delivered its objectives agreed with Youth Music.
NYMT met all its objectives and satisfied all the conditions of
grant for the financial year 2002-03, the last year in which Youth
Music funding was provided. Youth Music has assured the Department
that no public funds have been mis-spent.
Youth Music has worked closely with NYMT to
help it gain a clear understanding of its financial difficulties,
whilst ensuring that their grants have been used in line with
the NYMO objectives.
The problem originated when a significant private
funding stream came to an end in 1999 and NYMT did not take action
to balance expenditure to reduced income.
NYMT had also received a grant of £210,000
over three years (1998-2000) from the Lottery-funded Arts 4 Everyone
programme towards the costs of a regional development programme.
They needed to secure alternative funding to subsidise continuation
of this activity.
In 2001-02 and 2002-03 Youth Music allocated
NYMT £20,000 and £136,000 respectively alongside two
emergency grants of £35,000 and £70,000 to enable NYMT
to continue delivering work towards the objectives.
Youth Music advised NYMT to make plans for managing
their cash flow and deficit, however NYMT seemed reluctant to
down scale their activity. In spite of the significant increase
in their grant from Youth Music to help towards their deficit,
NYMT has not been able to secure the amount of funding needed
to continue with their work at previous levels and so have closed
the offices to avoid trading insolvently. NYMT is seeking a Company
Voluntary Arrangement to deal with its outstanding creditors.
Youth Music is continuing to work closely with
the board of NYMT to agree the best way forward. NYMT may also
consider an application to the ACE Recovery Programme.
1 These include the National Youth Orchestra of Great
Britain, National Youth Wind Orchestra of Great Britain, National
Association of Youth Orchestras, National Children's Orchestra,
National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain, National Youth Choirs
of Great Britain, National Youth Jazz Association, Music for Youth
and the South Asian Music Youth Organisation. Back