Katy Wright

Deputy Editor, Classical Music

Equity calls on culture secretary to intervene in arts cuts

10:37, 21st February 2017

Performing arts union Equity has called on culture secretary Karen Bradley to ‘urgently intervene’ following 100% arts cuts in Bath and North East Somerset.

Equity’s deputy for the general secretary, Stephen Spence, described the cuts as ‘an act of cultural vandalism’, predicting that they would result in ‘a new dark age for arts and culture in the region.’

Bath and North East Somerset Council voted on its budget on 14 February, approving a 100% cut to small project grants for the arts (worth up to £5,000 a year) in order to save £433,000 by 2020.

The council said it needed to find a total of £49m in savings by 2020 due to a reduction in central government funding.

With Bristol due to vote on its budget on 21 February, Spence warned: ‘The culture secretary must urgently intervene and facilitate a settlement to stabilise local arts funding, in a similar way to the reported deal with Surrey County Council over social care. Equity will be seeking an urgent meeting with Karen Bradley to discuss this. There is now a crisis with local arts funding that only the UK Government can resolve.’

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