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Labour gave cash to tune of pound;180m

THE Government made a pound;180 million commitment to music soon after the 1997 election.

The Department for Education and Employment's Music Standards Fund, set up two years ago, gave pound;150m over three years to existing and new music services, with matching funding of pound;26m from education authorities. Some schools use these funds for instrumental or specialist teaching.

The new National Foundation for Youth Music received pound;30m over three years from the National Lottery to fund all types of music-making, especilly for young people who would not otherwise have the chance, but mainly out of school hours.

Its grants include pound;3.7m for community-based skilled music leaders and pound;5m for the Dynamo programme set up to boost established music organisations. There was also pound;1m for First Steps, to introduce music to under-fives.

Youth Music worked with the BBC on an instrument amnesty which led to more than 6,000 items being recovered. It helped produce "Abbamania", a CD which raised pound;1.5m for the foundation.

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