I am responding to your query about the impact of increasing costs on organisations. I am the Manager in Wales for Making Music. We are a membership organisation which supports leisure-time music groups around the UK (I focus on Wales) and we focus on advocacy and lobbying for their needs and role in society.

 What impacts do you predict increasing costs will have on your organisation and sector? To what extent will these impacts be irreversible (e.g. venues closing, rather than a temporary restriction in activities)?

The impact of increasing costs on our members will be immense. Already many of our members are seeing the cost of their rehearsal space rise, which means that they will need to find a new venue, which may be too small, not well-ventilated, not accessible, out of town and difficult to reach for those using public transport. Some groups may struggle even more to find venues and may have to stop activity for awhile whilst they look for a new premise.

This will also impact their performance space. Already, I know of a group who used to perform in the community hall, but when they raised their hire fee, the group used the local school hall. The school was out of town and was not near any cafes and/or pubs. This disadvantages the group and the community in several ways, as the audience members and singers/players are no longer buying from local businesses (i.e. pubs and cafes and other shops) and are tucked away outside of the town centre. This has both an impact on local economy and community. What interventions would you like to see from the Welsh and UK Governments?

It is imperative that the Welsh and UK Governments provide funding for low-cost venues to community music groups, such as choirs, orchestras, ensembles, etc. This will allow the group to continue to make music, rehearse and perform in locations which is beneficial to the wider community, such as other businesses, as well as locals and the general engagement in the community.

Many thanks