Equity meets with Newcastle MPs and venues to discuss arts cuts
15 January 2013
On Friday, 11 January Equity convened a meeting with local venues and Newcastle MPs Catherine McKinnell and Nick Brown to talk about the threat of 100% cuts to the local authority’s arts and culture budget. Due to central Government cuts the council must save £90m overall by 2016. The culture budget is currently £1.6m, 0.7% of the annual budget.
At the meeting, representatives from Live Theatre, Northern Stage, Dance City and Theatre Royal and Equity members who have worked in these venues stressed the benefits of arts funding for the city and the devastating impact that a complete withdrawal of support would have on the economy in Newcastle.
All those present agreed that the excellence of the arts scene in Newcastle has had a marked effect on the growth of tourism to the city and region and has been a factor in businesses not directly connected to the arts staying in or relocating to Newcastle
Equity will continue to urge all funding partners – including central government – of the need to work together to find a solution and preserve the vibrant and valuable cultural economy of Newcastle and encourages members to attend the public consultation on the Council’s forthcoming budget on 16January at the Civic Centre (from 6-8pm).
Equity was represented at the meeting by Tracy Gillman, Ian McLaughlin, Bev Fox, Chris Connel, Jim Kitson and Karen Traynor, as well as Regional Organiser Nigel Jones and Louise McMullan, Head of the General Secretary’s Department.
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