SDLP councillor Carl Whyte has met with the Education Authority (EA) on the future of the City of Belfast School of Music.
He had expressed serious concern about the future of the school, with no clarity around a future base in Belfast.
Councillor Whyte attended the meeting alongside SDLP South Belfast MP Claire Hanna.
Councillor Whyte said:
“During our meeting I made clear to the EA that the Belfast School of Music has been fostering musical talent in our city for nearly 70 years and its future must be protected and the services it provides enhanced. We had an honest exchange of views and I welcome their willingness to engage on this hugely important issue for children across the city currently getting music lessons and their parents.
“The delay in finalising the EA review of Music Service and the uncertainly around the future of the current site has compounded longer-standing doubts that the Belfast School of Music was being downgraded. To secure its long-term future we need to see a modern base established in the heart of Belfast, easily accessible for families from across the city and those wanting to take part in its group activities. The School of Music is a precious resource, it has fostered a love of music over the generations and brought joy to many people across our city. I’ll continue working with the EA and partners to ensure the future viability of the school and the services it provides to people across Belfast.
“The school of music gives young people from all backgrounds the opportunity to grow and develop their talents and has played a role in producing some of our finest musicians. In this tradition I welcome the EA’s commitment to utilising partnerships and working with other organisations in the area to grow the reach of the school of music. Belfast is a UNESCO City of Music and other organisations can and will work with EA to ensure the School of Music’s great work over the previous decades can continue long into the future."