Incorporating the Variety Artistes' Federation
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URGENT: Bristol City Council 100K Arts Budget Cut

15 February 2014

Bristol City CouncilIt is reported that Sean Beynon, Councillor for Southville, has proposed a budget cut of £100,000 to the Bristol City Council arts budget with effect from 1 April 2014.  The whole arts budget is £977,000 so this represents a cut of nearly 10%.  This would be very bad news for arts and theatre in Bristol and the South-West, and it’s possible the cut will go through.

This is due to be decided on during a council budget meeting this Tuesday 18th February.

We know that times are hard, and lots of council services are having their budgets slashed, but it’s worth reiterating that Arts funding is an investment, and in fact boosts the wider economy.

Indeed, every pound spent on the arts yields £4 in revenue from tourism, restaurants, hotels and other sources as a direct result of that spend (see below).

Arts Council England was looking favourably on Bristol because of the sustained commitment to the arts – if Bristol cuts 100k, the question rises, will ACE do similar?

As you see, this is an imminent decision and needs as many people as possible to write to their local Councillor and oppose any proposed cut. We can’t let the council perceive the arts as a soft or easy target.



The message is clear: Now is not the time to be cutting arts funding!


Last year, our branch received a letter from Mayor George Ferguson's office, which told us:

“The City Council acknowledges the importance of the cultural and creative sectors to the economic and social viability of the city and for this reason has determined to maintain its funding commitments to KAP’s (Key Arts Providers), including allowing inflationary increases year on year”

 It's time for us to hold them to their promise.

 Thanks for your time, please take action on this issue as soon as you can.



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