We’ll set up our own music centre

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PARENTS dismayed by the closure of a Cleckheaton music centre could set up their own.

Kirklees Music School has decided to close its Cleckheaton and Batley centres and merge them with Mirfield.

Last week Coun Kath Pinnock said the decision was a tragedy and vowed to fight it.

She said since the move was announced parents had been phoning her to speak of their concerns over the loss of the facility, which gives children the chance to play musical instruments together outside school.

And she said one parent had suggested setting up an independent centre in Cleckheaton.

She said: “I have had a number of parents of children who go to the Cleckheaton music school who are all upset about it being closed.

“Some are saying what I suggested they might, which is how can they go to Mirfield?

“I believe the class is on Friday tea time from 5pm to 7.30pm. They are saying, ‘how on earth can we get there?’

“It’s before parents get back from work and it’s really busy on the buses.

“People are saying it’s probably the end of it for them.

“I have spoken to somebody who said, ‘can’t we run our own?’

“We would have to see if there are any people who teach music who would be willing to come along and help, and see if we can get something going locally.”

Kirklees Music School principal Thom Meredith said the decision had been made after funding from Kirklees Council and central government was cut.

He said the plan was to close three centres in Kirklees and merge others to create four new centres currently referred to as North, South, East and West Kirklees Music Centres.

Mr Meredith said: “The decision has been based on many factors including location, availability, suitability of facilities, access, social areas, storage and value for money. We looked very carefully at a number of alternative venues, particularly in North Kirklees, but have been unable to identify any locations that meet our needs better than Mirfield Free Grammar School.

“Our plans are to put extra musical experiences into the North of Kirklees and we are planning a series of projects which take music into the schools to target areas where children and young people have found it harder to access musical experiences.

“We have worked very hard to offer the best possible provision for the maximum number of young people across Kirklees.”