PLANS to take music out to more than 5,000 children in the Wiltshire area and beyond are being hatched by the new head of the Wiltshire Music Centre in Bradford on Avon.

The scheme coincides with the arrival of new chief executive Maud Saint-Sardos on July 3 following the departure of Clare Jack after six very successful years as executive director to become development director of the Bath Festival.

As the centre celebrates its 20th year, starting in December, Miss Saint-Sardos and her colleagues are planning a new and far-reaching Creative Learning programme designed to attract more people to the centre as well as to widen the appeal of music and the arts to young people throughout the region.

Miss Saint-Sardos said: “Our head of creative learning, Karl Bevis, is keen to improve access to the arts and this will be a key area for us, with more than 30 projects in the pipeline. Our outreach programme will take music outside of the centre as well as making it happen within.”

Last week, it was announced the centre, as a National Portfolio Organisation, will receive £406,700 from the Arts Council England over a four-year period from 2019 to 2022. The funds will enable the award-winning concert venue and charity to continue to present over 120 live concerts and events a year, including classical music, folk and jazz.

Miss Saint-Sardos, 35, from Valence in south-east France, will lead Wiltshire Music Centre into its 20th anniversary in 2018, celebrating two decades of music-making and opportunities for tens of thousands of young people. It will kick off with a 20th anniversary launch concert on December 9 featuring jazz pianist Gwilym Simcock.