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Help with Costs

Where does Help with Costs apply?

Currently we offer help with the following activities:

  • LM Music Group Membership - 100% discount
  • Instrument Hire - 100% discount
  • Instrumental Lessons - 50% discount on Paired & Group lessons only (or 100% discount for Children Looked After). Please note that we are not currently able to offer discounts on individual lessons.

Do I Qualify for Help with Costs?

To qualify, you will need to be receiving at least one of the following benefits or meet the criteria:

  1. Evidence of Child in receipt of Free School Meals
  2. Universal Credit with an annual net earned income of no more than £7,400.
  3. Income Support
  4. Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  5. Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  6. Support under Part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  7. The guarantee element of Pension Credit
  8. Working Tax Credit run-on (paid for the four weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)
  9. Child Tax Credit (with no Working Tax Credit) with an annual income of no more than £16,190
  10. Looked after Child
  11. Discretionary*

How do I let you know if I think I Qualify for Help with Costs?

We need to receive proof that you qualify before we can help.

When you register your child for an activity, please also complete the fee discount request form (see Fee Discount Application Form), where you will be asked to complete a form and upload scanned copies of supporting evidence.

The supporting evidence will be assessed by Leicestershire Music before being accepted.

*If you do not meet the criteria listed in points 1-10 above, you may still be eligible, please complete an application, provide any supporting evidence and use the text box to provide further detail regarding your claim. Your claim for help with costs will be assessed and if successful you will be notified accordingly.

Please note that without Proof that you qualify, we are unable to Help with costs. Leicestershire Music's decision is final.

If you have any problems or queries regarding any of the above, please email and we will be happy to help.

VAT Purchase Scheme

The aim of the Scheme is to enable the pupils of Leicestershire County Council and Leicester City Council to purchase musical instruments that are essential to the furtherance of their musical studies at a reduced price. This can be achieved by a concession, which enables the local authority to recover the VAT on such instruments and to sell the instrument free of VAT to the pupil.

The conditions that must be observed are as follows;

  • The sale of the instrument is made to pupils receiving tuition from the local authority (see note below ).
  • The instrument is required as part of normal curricular studies and these studies are expected to continue for a minimum of 2 school terms.

Pupils receiving tuition from the local authority:
If the pupil plays the instrument at an LM Band, Orchestra or other music performance groups including an Area Centre


If the pupil receives weekly lessons on the instrument provided by either a teacher of a Local Authority school or the parent pays the local authority school for lessons.

If the lessons are paid direct to the Associate Teacher, private teacher of a member of staff employed by the Academy the pupil is not receiving tuition from the local authority.

Before completing an application form, please ensure that you have read and understood our Fair Processing Notice.

VAT Purchase Scheme Application Form


Headteachers, or their authorised representatives, will be responsible for ensuring that the application form is completed at Parts 1 and 2 by the appropriate person and that information regarding the tuition is accurate. Completed forms should be forwarded to the VAT Liaison Officer at County Hall for authorisation prior to any further action being undertaken. (Note: this is the case even for City Council pupils – see further note below).

NB: If the application is for an instrument that a pupil plays in an LM Music Group, the completed form should be sent to LM in the first instance. Please scan a copy and send to (Posted copies can be sent to Leicestershire Music, Leicestershire County Council, Room G10, County Hall, Glenfield, Leicester, LE3 8RA - please notify us by email to that you have posted a form).

When the form is authorised it will be sent to Leicestershire Music and they will issue an official order to the retailer. The retailer will invoice Leicestershire Music who will pay the invoice through the Local Authority Budget. Parents/carers will send a cheque payable to Leicestershire County Council before the instrument is received to Leicestershire Music for the amount charged by the retailer (exclusive of VAT) plus £45.00 (Administration Charge).

City Council Pupils:

The arrangements for City Council pupils may be slightly different in that the VAT Liaison Officer will identify appropriate cases and forward the authorised Form to the City Council VAT and Taxation Advice Office. The latter will confirm the details and pass the Form to the City Council's Education Department who will carry out the steps otherwise undertaken by Leicestershire Music. The parents/carers cheque in such cases should be made payable to Leicester City Council and sent to the Education Department, Marlborough House, Leicester. Parents / Carers will be advised if these alternative arrangements apply.


This Scheme will be administered jointly by the Business Manager of the Leicestershire Music and the VAT Liaison Officer in conjunction with the City Council VAT and Taxation Advice Office. Any disputes or disagreements arising from any applications will be dealt with by these persons or their representatives.

Any arrangement for the Parents / Carers to take away the instrument, before the form is authorised, is strictly a private arrangement between Parents / Carers and retailer. Leicestershire County Council and the Leicester City Council accept no responsibility for any loss arising from this arrangement.

'Take it Away' Purchase Scheme

Take it away aims to make musical instruments more accessible to children and young people by providing interest-free loans of up to £5,000. Find out how it works and what you can buy by clicking on the link below.

If membership fees present a barrier to attending any of our Performance Groups or activities, please contact us at


  • Arts
    Leicestershire Music
    Music And Culture
    LCC 2


  • Arts
  • Leicestershire Music
  • LCC
  • Music And Culture
  • LCC 2