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Cuts: Theatres Trust Say Buildings Hardest Hit

By • West End
The arts funding decisions announced by Arts Council England (ACE) last Wednesday (30 March 2011) had a more negative effect on building-based arts organisations than other parts of the industry, according to The Theatres Trust and research they have published today.

Analysis by the Trust shows over 73% of the funding cuts announced fall on theatres, with 97 losing funding or being cut entirely, whilst 43 benefit from an increase. The Trust have also identified what they call a "clear division" between the larger national venues and those in the regions.

Taking into account the £33.25m saved from larger venues and the £26.35m cut from regional and other theatres, only £12.8m is being returned through funding increases and new theatres becoming National Portfolio Organisations (NPOs).

Mhora Samuel, director of the Trust said in a statement: "We understand the difficult decisions ACE has had to take and that in the current climate the arts cannot be immune from any cuts. But we have real concerns for those affected, specifically the smaller, regional venues where they will find it hard to adapt quickly and where they have also lost their local authority funding. These theatres are often the only places where local communities can access the arts and are vital if there is to be investment in the development of the next generation of theatre goers and professionals.

"Without ACE’s funding they will find it harder to provide a choice of quality programming and attract audiences, theatres may have to close, and local and national economies will be worse off. In making its choices ACE has significantly redrawn the theatre landscape of England. And when the cuts start to bite, it will be the audiences that end up the winners and losers."

The Trust warns that although venues such as the Arts Depot and Stratford Circus were successful in their NPO applications their future may not be guaranteed as ACE funding will effectively replace lost local authority funding but will not begin until 2012/13.

The Theatres Trust did praise the ACE for including Bristol's Tobacco Factory, the Blackpool Grand and Corby Cube in the NPO as well as "substantial" increases grants to theatres including the Barbican, Farnham Maltings and the Lincoln Arts Trust.

A full list of all of The Theatres Trust's arts funding analysis can be downloaded as a PDF by following this link

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