Equity has spoken out following the announcement of the "less than transparent" decision by Bristol City Council to the cut the city's arts funding budget by 40%.
The citiy's cultural investment programme has seen funding drop from £1,015,960 in 2018 to £635,960 this year which now leaves 15 arts organisations across the city without funding for the 2024-27 period, including Bristol Old Vic and the Wardrobe Theatre.
Responding to the announcement, Rachael Fagan, Equity’s South West Area Councillor said: “These cuts have been made without thought to the job losses and damage to the sector in the city.
"This less than transparent decision making which has been delayed for over 12 months has caused two organisations to close for good and will now put 100s of jobs in the city at risk now, and in the over next 4 years due to this short-sighted strategy.
“it is unbelievable that despite knowing that companies were closing causing job losses, Bristol city council have ploughed ahead with this appalling funding announcement.
“It is of particular note that the Bristol Old Vic, St Georges and the Wardrobe theatre who employ many of our members, have been left out in the cold. The financial mismanagement, timing of and delay to these decisions will cost the sector, our members and Bristol 's cultural heritage dearly."
Simon Curtis, Equity’s Regional Official for the South West, said “It is particularly cruel for the Council to make this announcement just ahead of the Christmas season, whilst our members will be wondering where they are going to find work in the new year.
“Arts organisations preparing for the new financial year will not be willing to put on work and employ our members with this shock cut to their finances.
“We call on the Mayor to do right by our members and restore the £75,000 worth of funding he has reportedly cut, instead of dealing yet another blow to one of this city’s most important economic sectors.”