Labour peer calls for conservatoire funding to help economy

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Lord Lipsey, who chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group on Classical Music, has called on the Government to recognise the contribution made by conservatoires to the economy and society. Lord Lipsey, who became the new Chair of the Board of Governors of Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance on 1 October, spoke at a House of Lords debate that he instigated last night (Wednesday 10 October).Fifteen peers from all sides of the House have signed up to speak - an unusually large number for a debate of this kind.

Lord Lipsey said: "With cuts here, cuts there and cuts everywhere, some might question whether institutions such as conservatoires should be a priority for public spending.

"But no one should doubt the contribution they make to the economy: to jobs, to growth and to earning foreign exchange from students from abroad.

"Culture today is big business. The conservatoire which I chair, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, ranks in the top five British higher education institutions for employment of its students."

Lord Lipsey continued: "Our resilience as a nation in the crisis we face depends not just on material matters but on the values which sustain us.

"A land without music and dance - every kind of music and dance - is a land without a soul."

At Trinity Laban, he replaced Sir Bob Scott, who served as Chairman for eight years.

Lord Lipsey's recently published autobiography,In the Corridors of Power,details four decades of political change and what it has meant for the parties and the men and women at the heart of the legislative process.

Lord Lipsey, a Labour peer, has had a lifelong interest in music. He is Chair of the All Party Classical Music Group, which arranges presentations to and discussions with parliamentarians on matters of concern to musicians and the music industry.

He was also involved in the setting-up of the Mid Wales Chamber Orchestra near his home in Wales, and is now a trustee of its parent trust. He is also Treasurer of the Sidney Nolan Trust near Presteigne, which also holds regular concerts, and patron of the Glasbury Festival; and has been an informal adviser on public affairs to the English National Opera.

Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance is the UK's only conservatoire of music and dance. Its innovative course provision, exciting performances and groundbreaking education, community and social inclusion work make Trinity Laban a leader in the advancement of elite and creative artistic practice. The unequalled expertise and experience of Trinity Laban staff and world class facilities are housed in landmark buildings in Greenwich and Deptford, enabling the organisation to foster the musicians, dancers and artistic leaders of the future, enriching Britain's vibrant cultural life and its creative industries which are vital to a balanced, diverse economy.

The contemporary conservatoire is an international centre of excellence in higher education and training in dance, drama or music and which has a leadership role in national and regional professional arts practice.

A number of English conservatoires receive additional funding from government to support the high costs of their professional training. These allocations are currently being reviewed by the Higher Education Funding Council for England through the Review of Institution-Specific Targeted Allocations.

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