The Welsh Government has announced a new £1m endowment fund to encourage more children to become musicians.
The National Endowment for Music will fund additional music activities for young people across the country and begin making payments by 2020, with the Government providing more money into the fund once it is established.
It is hoped that the endowment will generate at least £1m per year, with ministers hoping that public and private sector bodies will also contribute to fund additional music activities across the country.
A joint initiative between Education Secretary Kirsty Williams AM and Ken Skates, Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure, the fund builds on the £20 million Creative Learning through the Arts plan to support creative teaching and learning in schools.
Ms Williams said: “The National Endowment for Music will help ensure that all our young people, from whatever background, can develop their talents and skills through music.
“Having experiences outside the classroom is a sure way to help children build confidence and discover what inspires them. In time, this Endowment will provide extra chances for young people to access important education experiences.”
MU Regional Organiser Paul Gray added: “Since 2008 the majority of Welsh councils have been cutting budgets for music education and to music services, with a resulting loss of opportunities for young people not just to nurture and develop their musical and creative talents, but build their social skills and self-esteem too.
“Music provision should not just be the preserve of those who are able to afford it.
“This is therefore very welcome news, not just for the next generation of musicians from the Land of Song, but will provide new opportunities for our members who teach, who in recent years have seen a systematic erosion of pay and conditions.”