Sheffield Music Hub is a vibrant organisation which enables children and young people from all backgrounds and every part of Sheffield to deepen their enjoyment of music and to progress to the highest levels of excellence.

The highly-regarded Music Hub is governed by an advisory board made up of rep-resentatives from schools, music organisations, parents/carers, young people and the voluntary sector, including Sheffield City Council which is the accountable body for the Hub.

Building on their successes to date, the governing board of the Sheffield Music Hub was conscious of changes in the environment in which they were operating, including further pressures on funding and the potential for new performance indicators and requirements to be introduced.

Sheffield City Council sought proposals from consultants to conduct a strategic study, identifying options for an improved organisational structure, governance arrangements and operating model. The objective was to help the Music Hub to build organisational resilience and face the future with increased confidence. They wanted to be prepared for whatever uncertain and challenging times lay ahead, to draw on and consolidate existing excellent practice and to extend innovative partnership arrangements with other key local stakeholders.

Sharpe Pritchard Strategy was appointed, as our proposals offered a unique combination of skills. These include detailed knowledge of alternative delivery vehicles in the public sector including:

  • trading companies;
  • partnership arrangements;
  • organisational design; improvement and transformation; and
  • strategic road mapping.

This in-depth knowledge blends organisational, commercial and legal excellence with practical experience of delivery.

The Sharpe Pritchard Strategy team, led by Debbie Bondi, took time to listen to and really understand the stakeholders for the Sheffield Music Hub. We collated and analysed information gathered from stakeholder interviews, market intelligence and benchmarking with other Music Hubs. Following this we identified three main options for the council and the Music Hub to consider, namely:

  • leaving organisational arrangements broadly the same, whilst focusing on ten areas for improvement identified by the study;
  • establishing an organisational model independent from the council, with the potential to acquire charitable status; and
  • merging with council’s own, recently established, school improvement company.

The advantages and disadvantages of the options were explored in depth, in a user-friendly format. Particular consideration was given to potential future changes to the environment in which Music Hubs operate, including changes in funding levels and organisational arrangements. The implications of each possible course of action were clearly laid out so that senior stakeholders were well informed on all options, the potential risks and how they might be mitigated.

The final report provided Sheffield City Council and the Music Hub with the information they required to make informed decisions about the future of the organisation, with confidence. The city council’s project sponsor said “all members of the organisation have been exceptional in all areas” and “I cannot recommend their professional and personal skills highly enough”.

This article is for general awareness only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this page was first published.

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