The Highland Council - inc. Hugh Fraser, Bill Ferney, Dr Michael Foxley, David Alston, Sandy Park

Although the Highland Council has now voted to withdraw the Centre's funding, it has also included the following statement in the minutes of its proceedings:

“The Council's aim is to secure its long term future, and to do so in the most financially efficient and effective way, given the severe financial pressure on the Council by exploring all possibilities and options.

“The Council propose to engage the Scottish Government, West Highland College and other interests in further discussions exploring how the Centre may play a role in supporting wider potential development in traditional music within the region.”

Pressure must now be brought to bear on the Council to make good on this statement.

The Highland Council has targeted the National Centre for Excellence in Traditional Music, based at Plockton High School, in its proposed cuts package.

If the cuts are voted through at the Highland Council meeting on February 10, the Centre could close as soon as July next year. Director Dougie Pincock was interviewed on the BBC this morning and said that while he expected the Centre to take its share of any cuts he 'hadn't anticipated it would be all of it.'

Plockton has been an integral part of Scottish Traditional Music for the past 10 years. It has started many of our best young musicians on the road to their career and provided training in traditional music and groupwork from some of Scotland's finest musicians. Our young folk could not have gained this level of training anywhere else.

We, the undersigned, call on the Highland Council not to close the National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music at Plockton High School.
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