Westminster Council cuts arts funding
21 May 2013
Earlier this year hundreds of Equity members signed the petition against Westminster City Council’s proposals to cut its entire arts budget.
The cut of £350,000 represents 0.0004% of the Council’s spending and affects a number of projects and workplaces in the area including drama, dance and singing workshops for young people, community initiatives at the Soho Theatre and work the English National Ballet has been carrying out with Parkinson’s sufferers.
The Council has now responded to say that the petition has been denied and the cuts will go ahead. The Council spokesperson said: “The City Council does value the contribution made by community arts projects and activities to the quality of life of residents and in an ideal world we would continue to commission such work. However the Council’s role as a funding body cannot be sustained in this financial climate.”
Responding to the announcement, Equity’s General Secretary Christine Payne said: “This is very disappointing news, particularly as Westminster is the centre of the UK’s commercial theatre sector. The positive spillover effects of public investment in the arts for the commercial creative industries, as documented in recently released Arts Council England research, should motivate Westminster and other councils to maintain and increase their investments, not sever their support the arts and cultural sector.”
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