Council ends arts support service
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.”