Newcastle Council U-turn on arts funding cuts plan

21 February 2013, 10:55

Newcastle City Council has backed down on plans to cut 100% of arts funding in the city, news which has delighted arts leaders throughout the country.

Plans to cut 100% of £1.15 million of arts funding by Newcastle City Council have been reversed, after a widespread campaign of opposition in support of keeping funding in place.

Rather than cutting 100% of the funding, the council will now axe around half of it, leaving the total for arts funding in Newcastle at £600,000 a year. Starting in 2016, the council will place the money in an external fund which arts organisations can apply for.

The original plan to axe the funding was part of a wider strategy aimed at reducing the council's expenditure by £90 million, dictated by wider economic circumstances.

Philip Bernays, chief executive of the Theatre Royal in Newcastle, told The Stage: "The council are still withdrawing all direct subsidies, but the good news is they are setting up the Newcastle Cultural Fund, to which they will be guaranteeing £600,000 per year, but to which they are hoping others will also give."