Letter: Stop this closure

Highland Council is set to withdraw funding from the National Centre for Excellence in Traditional Music at Plockton High School for a paper saving of £317,000 from a £241.7 million education budget. This is not just flogging off the family silver but dismantling ten years of cultural investment in Scotland's national musical heritage.

The centre has brought great credit to the Highlands and to Scotland. As international ambassadors, pupils have performed in Cape Breton, New York, before the European Parliament and at Holyrood. Former pupils include two winners of the BBC Young Scottish Musician of the Year award and several who have graduated to well-known folk and traditional music bands.

The current 24 pupils are drawn from the best throughout Scotland. Quite apart from the immediate loss to music, the closure will leave behind instruments, soundproofed practice rooms, a first-class recording studio and a suite of Steinway pianos, secured just days ago under a leasing agreement.

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Councillors, in the administration and opposition, need to think carefully about the message they send to the nation. We ask the wider public to support the campaign to protect this country's endowment in Scotland's cultural heritage.


Chair, Plockton High School Parent Council

Strathcarron, Ross-shire

As a former student of the music school, I am deeply disappointed that Highland Council would propose its closure.

I had an incredible time there and that experience not only helped me become a better fiddle player but also made me a more confident individual. All the tutors have worked very hard over the past ten years to make the school a national institution that Scotland can rightly be proud of. It has also played its part in the resurgence of traditional Scottish music and Gaelic culture, especially amongst my generation.



Leven, Fife