Jazz group gets lifeline on funding

Chair of Council Cllr. Tony Sockett. Picture: Marie Caley D1665MC
Chair of Council Cllr. Tony Sockett. Picture: Marie Caley D1665MC
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DONCASTER’s leading jazz orchestra has been given a lifeline after the Mayor had a change of heart about stopping its funding.

Mayor Peter Davies had proposed ending an annual grant of £44,000 to the Doncaster Youth Jazz Association because he thought it was unfair that it received special treatment.

But a protest on the association’s behalf by Coun Tony Sockett has brought about a partial U-turn.

Coun Sockett said he recognised the proposal to cut funding could result in the closure of one of Doncaster’s most successful ambassadorial groups.

He asked for a phased reduction in grant support and Mr Davies agreed to provide £28,000 for the next financial year so the orchestra could find other funding and look at using its Beckett Road headquarters as a financial asset.

Mr Davies said he was surprised the association had been receiving grant support when other musical groups in Doncaster had not. “I just can’t follow the logic in that,” he said.

He said he had no doubt about the excellence of the orchestra and its contribution to Doncaster but the association was sitting on assets because it owned premises it could use to raise finance.

Coun Sockett said the council had nurtured and financially supported the association because it provided musical education for hundreds of young people and scores of them had gone on to become professional musicians.

Mr Davies said: “I am keen to see all these musical groups supported by the council but money is in short supply.”