The BBC has agreed to suspend a proposal to close the BBC Singers choir while it explores alternative funding models.

The broadcaster said it has agreed with the Musicians Union (MU) that it will suspend the cut while it looks at funding solutions offered by a number of organisations which, if viable, could secure the future of the ensemble.

It also confirmed the in-house chamber choir will appear at the BBC Proms this year.

A statement from the BBC said: “We know that the BBC Singers are much loved across the classical community and their professionalism, quality and standing has never been in question.

“We have said throughout these were difficult decisions. Therefore, we want to fully explore the options that have been brought to us to see if there is another way forward.

“The BBC still needs to make savings and still plans to invest more widely in the future of choral singing across the UK.”

It comes weeks after the BBC announced plans to scrap the choir and reduce salaried orchestral posts across the BBC English Orchestras by around 20%.

On Friday, the broadcaster said it will continue to engage with the MU and other unions about the proposals on the BBC’s English Orchestras.

A statement added: “We are committed to meaningful consultation and to avoiding compulsory redundancies, wherever possible.”

Last week,

Roderick Williams, the leading baritone who will play a starring role at the King’s coronation, said the decision to axe the BBC Singers must be reversed.

The world-renowned singer warned that the broadcaster’s plan to close the UK’s only full-time chamber choir and cut orchestra numbers undermined the “ethos” of the licence-fee funded broadcaster.

(This story is being updated)

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