Instrumental Music Service in West Lothian Under Threat

News Release from Miles Briggs MSP:

Instrumental Music Service in West Lothian Under Threat

Local parents are concerned that the “world beating” music service provided by the Instrumental Music Service (IMS) could be a casualty of the planned £73 million cuts over the next five years in West Lothian. The cuts have been made necessary due to increasing demand on existing council services. These planned cuts are currently being discussed in a “Transforming Your Council” consultation in West Lothian.

The IMS provides free music tuition to children and young adults in schools across West Lothian and is a very popular programme. The benefits to learning a musical instrument are extensive, such as interpersonal relationship building, skills in working individually or as part of a team, leadership skills, coordination and cognitive ability, as well as raising self-esteem and building confidence.

The service provided by the IMS being absorbed into classroom music lessons is one of the suggestion by the ongoing “Transforming Your Council” consultation. This would mean less specialist knowledge and expertise for teaching musical instruments to pupils across West Lothian. As well as providing musical tuition to pupils, the IMS also has a role in helping to coordinate performance ensembles, the supporting of school ensembles, and being able to provide a conduit to further education in specialist environments such as the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, or the Royal College.

Miles Briggs, Scottish Conservative and Unionist MSP for Lothian, Comments:

“The Instrumental Music Service provides a valuable service to thousands of pupils across West Lothian. We must do everything that we can to ensure that the IMS secures the funding to continue all it’s good work and benefiting so many young people in the region.

“I have raised my concerns with the Council Chief Executive, on behalf of local parents”.


  • For a copy of Miles’ full speech or any further information, please contact Miles’ office on 0131 348 5945

Miles Briggs