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Chetham’s needs £5m to finish new school

Final push for funding will target Plcs and parents

Published on November 8th 2010.

Chetham’s needs £5m to finish new school

Chetham’s School of Music, presently based in buildings date from the early 1400s, is still £5m short of the amount it needs to finish its new extension.

Construction on the new building – designed by Stephenson Bell - is already underway but the school’s head, Claire Hickman, said it needed a final push to raise the money needed to fit out the new performance hall before its scheduled opening in 2012.

“We need at least £1m to finish the last few bits of the extension,” she said. “After that, we’re ideally looking for £5m for the concert hall fit-out. As is stands, we’ll have enough to build the building, but only to shell.

“We’ve got a few funding bids in – as an arts and an education institution there are a few options, but not half as many as there were.”

The school has also started a membership scheme for individuals of businesses to donate £1,000 a year, giving them access to special networking events and concerts at the school.

Chetham’s is also running an event on November 12 allowing the pupils to make a brick to use in the new extension.

“We’ll be looking to the private sector, perhaps looking at individuals and companies to sponsor different departments” The school is looking for £10,000 to sponsor a practise room and £50,000 for an ensemble room.

“We’ll also have to look to parents; we might have a school busk in the city centre – there are plenty of things we can do in a fundraising capacity.”

Hickman said one option to attract grant funding could be to package up all the different cultural attractions in the area – the school, the cathedral and the new football museum – and apply as a collective outfit.

A new footbridge linking the new school to the old buildings will be installed before the new year, with another 14 months left on the rest of the build.

“Obviously we’re working to a deadline. The school has to be ready to open in February 2012. But looking beyond that, we think it can become a visitor attraction by 2013.”

“We’re talking to all the stakeholders in this part of the city to see how we can work together,” she said. “I think there’s a real market for selling medieval Manchester as a tourist attraction.”

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13 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Eddy RheadNovember 8th 2010.

Call me old fashioned but who starts a building project, especially an enormous one, without the required funds to finish it? Whats that saying- "Cut your coat according to your cloth" ? Makes me wonder if this is a truly essential building or simply a vanity project.

DumbledoreNovember 8th 2010.

An expensive and exclusive private school bemoaning poverty. My heart bleeds.

Anon TooNovember 8th 2010.

What a spectacular misunderstanding of CHetham's you have Dumb-eldore. Ninety per cent of students that go there are on a scholarship, funded through the Department for Education.

My neice was one of them, and she was from a working class family based in a poor part of Bradford. Hardly exclusive.

It bears no mind to academic excellence either, meaning a real mix of kids who all have one thing in common - musical talent, largely nurtured through scholarships.

AgricolaNovember 8th 2010.

Dumbledore you idiot. Most of the kids are on scholarships, the school caters for all. It's a wonderful aspect of Manchester life that we have this specialist college. Understand the thing before you condemn it.

DumbledoreNovember 9th 2010.

Flute lessons don't come cheap in Salford.

AnonymousNovember 10th 2010.

Dumbledore. Chets ISN'T a fee paying private school. That's what's so great about it. Its based on talent and merti - if you're good enough you audition and if you're good enough you might get offered a place. It doesn't matter if you're from a sink estate in the midlands or the Home Counties.

Anon TooNovember 10th 2010.

Neither are football boots, but enough parents in Salford buy them for their kids.

Bit of reverse snobbery at work Dumbledore?

J E SibberingNovember 10th 2010.

Chets IS a fee paying private school anon, one of the most expensive in the country. But most of the childrens' fees are covered by scholarships, as Agricola rightly stated.

DumbledoreNovember 10th 2010.

Chethams is still a fee paying school, and the majority of its pupils are Jocastas and Tabithas from Wilmslow and Harrogate. And do you know why, Anonymous People? Regular music lessons to get a child to the standard which Chethams would accept are way beyond the reach of most single or working class families, so don't come the "reverse snobbery" argument as apart from being disingenuous, it's rather naff.

Chethams IS a fee paying school, so please don't make out it's the northern outpost of Save The Children.

Kevin PeelNovember 10th 2010.

I welcome the suggestion that the school will be made more accessible to visitors. It's sad that funding is not more readily available for such an important project.

rosieNovember 10th 2010.

@ Dumbledore, kids are accepted to Chet's on their potential. It's not as cut and dried as (for instance) university applications where specific grades have to be achieved. This means that gifted but disadvantaged children are always considered. As someone who was a dirt poor single parent for a bloody long time, I have to say that music lessons are affordable and if you can't find the money for an instrument there are loan schemes out there.

AnonymousNovember 10th 2010.

This school doesn't need any more money. It wants it. There is a difference.

The well-heeled seem to be getting ever more greedy for other peoples money. At my local supermarket checkouts I often encounter well-spoken, well-dressed and polite children from local wealthy independent schools eager to pack my bags in return for a contribution to some new tennis courts or swimming pool, or an 'educational' trip to some far flung exotic destination. I tell them that I only give charity cash to people poorer than myself.

M30November 10th 2010.

I was in Waitrose in Wilmslow a few weeks ago and they were collecting for three c"ommunity projects": There was a private school looking for money for its drama club, some historical society and a whist club.

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