Coun­cil ends arts sup­port ser­vice

Western Daily Press - - News -

CUTS to coun­cil staff who have helped un­lock fund­ing for “lifechang­ing” projects for more than two decades have been branded “naive and short-sighted” by artists.

The arts de­vel­op­ment ser­vice is one of sev­eral de­part­ments that will ei­ther be re­duced or shut com­pletely be­cause of “ex­cep­tional” pres­sures on Bath and North East Somerset Coun­cil’s bud­get.

Artists have praised the ser­vice for bro­ker­ing re­la­tion­ships, help­ing them se­cure vi­tal fund­ing and de­vel­op­ing a thriv­ing cul­tural scene in Bath since it formed in 1996. Creativ­ity Works tweeted: “We are ab­so­lutely gut­ted, fu­ri­ous and ashamed at this naive and short-sighted ac­tion by the coun­cil that will leave our area a poorer place to live.”

Katy Noakes, the in­terim cre­ative pro­ducer at Bath Dance, said: ““With­out lo­cal author­ity sup­port it be­comes hard for lo­cal artists and com­pa­nies to per­suade other fun­ders such as Arts Coun­cil Eng­land that they will get value for money in­vest­ment.”

The arts de­vel­op­ment ser­vice will be­gin a phased clo­sure from De­cem­ber 3 and shut com­pletely on Fe­bru­ary 8, with the loss of two mem­bers of staff.

A B&NES Coun­cil spokesman said: “The coun­cil has fi­nan­cially sup­ported many arts or­gan­i­sa­tions over the years. As part of the bud­get agreed by coun­cil this Fe­bru­ary the de­ci­sion was made to end the arts de­vel­op­ment ser­vice, sav­ing £78,000 with the loss of two posts.

“It is ad­vis­ing small arts busi­nesses they can get busi­ness ad­vice from the sup­port ser­vice Cool Ven­tures.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.