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One-in-ten companies losing funding to close

29 March 2012

More than one in ten companies which are losing 100% of their core funding from Arts Council England this week are closing as a result, a survey in the Stage newspaper reveals.

The Stage contacted the 206 cultural organisations which were told they would lose all their regular funding last March. Twenty-four have already closed or will close as this funding year comes to an end. A further 22% of respondents described themselves as “at risk of closing”. Only 16% rated their financial situation as healthy. The 206 organisations will lose a combined total of £19.1 million per year when their core funding is cut at the end of this week, The Stage reports. Almost half of respondents (46%) said their organisations were “just surviving”.

In an interview wi th The Stage, Arts Council England's Chief Executive Alan Davey said: “The arts council has never funded all the art that takes place in this country, nor do we have the means to do so. It’s always a difficult decision to stop funding an organisation but faced with an almost 30% reduction in our budget for the arts, we had some hard choices to make. Some organisations we might have chosen to support in other circumstances did not receive funding but, by the same token, it’s important to remember that 110 organisations will receive regular funding for the first time from this April.

“It is inevitable that with a cut to our budget, coupled with an equivalent cut in local authority funding, some organisations would not be able to manage. This is sad, and no attempts to summarise trends can take away that fact. Given the difficult context it is heartening that closures of organisations that lost core funding are still in the minority. Well over half the respondents are battling on despite tough conditions, producing good work and seeking alternative sources of funding, including from us. That is testament to how determined artists in this country are to go on doing what they do for the benefit of audiences.”

According to The Stage dance companies are suffering most from the cuts, with 36% of respondents in this field saying they are closing. None of the respondents from the dance sector described themselves as healthy financially. In addition to the cuts to their arts council funding, 30% of respondents from all sectors said they were also facing reductions to their local authority grants. This “double whammy” of ACE and local council cuts has been one of their biggest concerns.

There is also serious doubt that Government's aim of private money filling the funding gap will be met. The Natural Theatre Company told The Stage: "We have made four long-term employees redundant and the remaining staff will go on to a four-day week in April 2012. One good thing - the cut from £150,000 to zero ACE funding has resulted in a £40,000 rescue package from our local authority over three years (to be confirmed). Otherwise, the expected sympathy vote has only resulted in £12,000 from corporate sources."

One respondent, who wished to remain anonymous, told teh newspaper: “Loss of ACE funding was part of a perfect storm of other key public sector clients (eg regional development agencies) disappearing or being critically diminished.”

Sign Equity's petition against arts cuts here. Read more on The Stage's website.

 

 

HOW THE MEDIA REPORTED THIS

WE HAVE TO MAKE THE CASE FOR CULTURE
GUARDIAN
Labour's deputy leader and shadow Culture Secretary Harriet Harman sets out five challenges on the day of her visit to arts and sports centres in Leeds
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/the-northerner/2012/mar/30/harriet-harman?INTCMP=SRCH
 
BIG HITTERS DOMINATE ARTS COUNCIL CAPITAL FUNDING AWARDS
GUARDIAN
Some of Britain's most heavily subsidised arts institutions among 26 successful applicants for lottery money
http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2012/mar/29/big-hitters-arts-council-funding?INTCMP=SRCH

ARTS GROUPS BEING HIT BY FUNDING CUTS, SURVEY SAYS
BBC ON-LINE
More than one in 10 arts companies who lost all of their core Arts Council of England funding have shut down or are closing, according to research.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-17536195
 
ARTS COUNCIL ENGLAND CUTS LOSERS: ONE YEAR ON
BBC ON-LINE
A year ago, more than 200 theatre, art and other cultural organisations were told that they would be taken off the list of bodies receiving regular Arts Council England funding. They were given a year's notice and that money runs out this week.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-17489115

EXCLUSIVE: ARTS COUNCIL CUTS HAVE DECIMATED AXED COMPANIES
THE STAGE
More than one in ten companies that are losing 100% of their core funding from Arts Council England this week are closing as a result, The Stage can exclusively reveal.
http://www.thestage.co.uk/news/newsstory.php/35700/exclusive-arts-council-cuts-have-decimated

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