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Government funding welcomed in bid to keep traditional school open (15/03/11)
News that the Scottish Government is prepared to commit £200,000 a year from 2012/13 to 2014/15 to provide funding to help broaden the remit of the National Centre for Excellence in Traditional Music has been welcomed by The Highland Council, who host the centre in Plockton High School, and the West Highland College, who are potential partners in the future funding of the centre.
The Highland Council Leader, Councillor Michael Foxley, who has been actively involved in discussions to find a funding package that will ensure the long-term future of the centre, said: “I am delighted that as part of the overall package required to ensure the long-term future of the centre that the Scottish Government has provided funding through a partnership with the West Highland College.
Councillor Foxley stressed that a report setting out the package of efficiency savings, income generation, additional funding and potential sponsorship will be presented to the Council in the near future for the consideration and approval of the Council.
The Council decided last month to withdraw its funding of the National Centre of Excellence from July 2012 at its budget setting meeting on 10 February. At that time, the Council agreed to work with the Scottish Government to identify measures and funding to secure its long term future.
Norman Gillies, Chairman of the West Highland College, echoed Councillor Foxley’s welcome. He said: "Today's announcement provides further vital resource to the college in delivering our strategy of expanding the breadth and availability of Further Education across the West Highlands. Building on the proven core facilities at the National Centre and the High School, funded directly by The Highland Council, we would seek to expand learning provision in a subject area of local strength and distinctiveness.
“Working with our academic partners in UHI, we may also explore Higher Education possibilities in the future, but only when Further Education is well established. I look forward to bringing this exciting plan before the college board, and with their support and endorsement we shall then strive to make a success of this initiative such that Government is convinced of the value of long-term funding.”