A music service run by the council for around 40 years is set to split from local-authority control in a bid to avoid crippling budget cuts.
Mervyn Manning, manager of North Leeds Music Centre (NLMC) – said the savings it was being asked to make could kill the service completely if he did not act to avoid disaster.
Under his proposals, the Meanwood-based service would no longer be funded by Leeds City Council.
It would instead rely on cash injections from a range of charities, various grants as well as sponsorship from private firms.
The local authority needs to make more than £100m cuts over the next two years.
Mr Manning told the YEP: “The amount they are asking us to save is not really feasible.
“If the service starts to decline because we have to cut certain classes it could quickly snowball.
“And the worst case is we end up with no music centre at all.”
He added: “We’re not breaking away totally, we want to retain links with the council but we feel the day-to-day running of things and finding funding is something we can do better on our own rather than with the restrictions they impose.”
The centre, which is part of the ArtForms music service, employs around 20 music teachers and three teaching assistants.
But the total cost of staff and rent outweighs its income, meaning the service runs at around a £20,000 a year loss.
Mr Manning said: “We would be looking at funding to cover that hole initially but if we are going to progress and improve the centre we might need to make a profit.”
He hopes to turn the centre into a Community Interest Company (CIC), with any profits reinvested into the service.
Around 350 people use the centre each week, aged three to around 73, learning everything from flute to clarinet, saxophone, violin, and there are several orchestras and ensembles.
Because most lessons are for groups rather than individuals, fees are lower than private lessons.
A council spokeswoman said: “Like all other council-run services, we are working closely with our eight centres to ensure they are running as effectively and efficiently as possible and provide value for money.
“To achieve this, the centres are looking at a range of options including different business models that would enable them to retain their unique benefit and protect the services they offer.
“These discussions are still at an early stage and no decisions have been made.”
The North Leeds Music Centre has been runnning for more than 40 years.
It is based at Carr Manor High School, Meanwood.
The centre offers music lessons in group tuition classes for many instruments including clarinet, flute, saxophone, recorder, brass, violin/viola, guitar, drum kit and keyboard.
It has a number of ensembles including woodwind, brass, strings and guitars and two jazz orchestras as well as a training orchestra, senior orchestra, wind band and an ‘elastic band’.
Call (0113) 2370905.