Spike and greenroom to lose 100% ACE fundsDate: 30 March 2011
Liverpool-based Spike Theatre said its proposed programme from March next year is in jeopardy after the announcement from Arts Council England over funding.
Arts Council England is having its budget slashed by £100m by the Government from 2012-15 and Spike will lose 100% funding from ACE from April next year, as will hundreds of other theatres across the country.
Mark Smith, Spike’s artistic director, said: “Spike wholeheartedly supported ACE in its new application process and we are pleased that the new companies ACE has taken on will not face the same difficulties as we have, that of being reliant upon additional Arts Council funding to produce work. It is galling that our current level of funding has contributed to our struggle for sustainability and that Arts Council’s low level of past investment has damaged our case for future funding.
“We are working with our board to alter our strategy and business plan to accommodate this loss but this may not be possible in the current financial climate. If we cannot find a way to continue without investment beyond 2012 we feel the theatre ecology of the North West will be the poorer for it.
“We would like to thank all of those who have offered their support and kind words and especially our supportive venue partners. We greatly appreciate them.”
Spike, which was established in 1997, said it will still be appearing at ZOO venues’ Roxy Art House during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with it show The Games before touring the show across the UK in 2012.
Spike became a regularly funded organisation of the Arts Council in 2006/07, having previously been supported on fixed term funding by the Regional Arts Lottery Programme from 2003/04–2005/06.
In 2010 Spike created three new shows including Top of the World, The Games and Danny the Champion of the World, for The Brewery Arts centre in Kendal, and played 110 performances to over 12,000 people.
Arts Council England received 1,333 applications to join its new National portfolio and said it has offered funding to 695 organisations. ACE used to regularly fund 849 organisations.
As part of the shake-up, ACE said 110 new organisations are being brought into the mix, with decisions shaped by a ten year vision for the arts.
ACE’s National portfolio funding is being supported with £18 million Lottery funding a year for earmarked portfolio organisations.
A total of £10.5 million Lottery funding a year is also targeted at work with children and young people, to ensure educational work continues, while an extra £12 million of Grants for the arts Lottery money is being freed up for small organisations.
Alan Davey, chief executive of Arts Council England, added: “There have been some really hard choices as we had so many good applications - more than we were able to fund. In advance of the Spending Review, we said "cut us, don't kill us". Well, with the help of Lottery income, for which we are grateful, we're alive and kicking. But we do regret that we have been unable to fund perfectly good organisations, and I know this will be taken hard by those affected.”
Elsewhere in Liverpool, the Everyman & Playhouse suffered a small 4% cut to its funding, while the Unity Theatre had its funding reduced slightly by 0.7%.
“The theatres’ Arts Council funding for 2012/13 will be £1,649,019, which reverses the 6.9% cut in 2011/12 (though with no allowance for inflation). A modest inflation allowance is built in for the next two years. “While the theatres are reassured by this decision, we do not yet know where the cuts will fall on colleagues locally and nationally and would like to express our solidarity with a strong and unified sector at this extraordinarily complex time."
They add: "We are taking some time to reflect on the implications of this news, but we’d like to thank all of our peers and colleagues, supporters, audiences, artists, producers and funders that have enabled greenroom to play an important role in the UK arts landscape to date."