Future of world-class orchestra secure thanks to new funding

Philharmonia Orchestra
Philharmonia Orchestra

The future of the Philharmonia Orchestra in Bedford has been secured after the borough council approved a new financial deal.

The world-class orchestra has been given a lump sum of £750,000 to set up an endowment fund.

A Bedford Borough Council spokeswoman said: “The deal is great news for music lovers and local taxpayers as it removes the long-standing annual council subsidy in exchange for a one-off payment.

“The new proposal will see the council and a leading Bedford-based charity, each contribute £125,000, with the Arts Council being requested to add £2 for every £1 given by Bedford Borough Council and the charity.

“This means that £750,000 can be raised in order to establish an endowment fund as a way of contributing towards the funding of future Philharmonia concerts and associated educational activity in the community, guaranteeing these benefits for the people of the Borough for the foreseeable future.”

She added: “Therefore, the Council will no longer be making an annual contribution. The pledge of £125,000 is on the basis that the Arts Council agrees to this proposal, and until they do, and an endowment trust is established, the Council will not make any payment, thus securing taxpayers interest.”