AN award-winning musical charity has shut after becoming the victim of a running costs crisis.

The Nevis Ensemble, described as Scotland's street orchestra whose vision was ‘music for everyone, everywhere’. has confirmed that it has ceased operations, citing “severe funding challenges”.

Since 2018, it has delivered hundreds orchestral performances, as well as workshops and musician development sessions.

It first burst into life in August 2018 with a plan to bring the therapeutic and community-strengthening value of high-quality live orchestral music of all genres to everyone in society.

It has seen the ensemble performing everywhere from a farm in the Borders, and supermarkets in Glasgow to the summit of Ben Nevis itself, and the remote islands of St Kilda, whilst collaborating with organisations to run projects for those experiencing homelessness, women seeking refuge from domestic violence, children in care, young carers, older people living with dementia, and refugees.

It said it was filling a gap that other arts organisations "cannot fill".

The charity said its decision was issued with the "saddest of hearts" and added: “Sadly, this is where the Nevis Ensemble story ends. Following severe funding challenges, Nevis Ensemble is no longer able to deliver its activities.

"The Board of Trustees would like to take this opportunity to thank the musicians and staff from over the years who have embraced the vision of Nevis Ensemble, and especially thank the many trusts, foundations, partners and individual donors who have made this journey possible.”

The Musicians' Union said it was "deeply concerned".

It said it was of "grave concern" to members who are engaged by the organisation as ‘Fellows’ and to those who are engaged on a freelance basis – both of whom have had their work with the organisation cancelled.

MU regional organiser for Scotland & Northern Ireland Caroline Sewell said it was "heavy news" for the music sector in Scotland.

She said: "This news comes as yet another blow for the music sector in Scotland and in particular young and freelance working musicians – not to mention audiences across Scotland across Scotland and beyond.”

In its last financial analysis for the year to March 2022, the charity received income of £174,350 - nearly £40,000 more than the previous year but its spending rose from £120,287 to £168,900.

And trustees recognised that the principal risk which Nevis Ensemble faces was of a "large variance and/or failure in securing financial support, which would impact on the amount of activity the organisation can deliver, and damage the reputation of the orchestra".

The was compounded by the Covid pandemic, and the impact of Brexit.

Another risk for the organisation was the loss of key staff.

But it said it was a going concern.

"As a young organisation, the Board of Trustees is aware of the challenges the charity faces in securing financial support and stabilising the organisation’s cashflow. With the organisation having garnered a positive reputation in its first three years of operations, the trustees are confident that 2022/23 will allow the organisation to build and develop its practice..."

The charity had been hit by the resignation of Uchenna Ngwe as Chair of the Board of Trustees, who had been expected to develop and expand its activities over coming years. They were expecting a replacement to be in place by April.

The trustees said: “In five short years, Nevis Ensemble has changed the narrative of what orchestras and classical music in general should be doing, in terms of inclusion, promoting new music, and sustainability.

“As a small organisation with a big heart, we are proud to have had an audience of almost 200,000 people across Scotland, as well as more than one million online during lockdown, and changed the perceptions with musicians themselves on what they can do for our communities.”

In 2021 it was awarded the ISM Award for New Music in Covid Times for our project Lochan Sketches, as well as the Environmental Sustainability Award at the Scottish Awards for New Music for our groundbreaking work with the Scottish Classical Sustainability Group.

Last year it established a base in Easterhouse and begun developing partnerships to ensure the most vulnerable and marginalised in society could access the benefits of music.