Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Arts Bosses Braced for Yet More Cuts; Major Changes on the Way as Budgets Suffer

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Arts Bosses Braced for Yet More Cuts; Major Changes on the Way as Budgets Suffer

Article excerpt

Byline: Adrian Pearson; Ruth Lawson

ARTS chiefs have warned they may have to turn their back on some organisations after slashing pounds 1m from the bodies behind the region's cultural identity.

Bosses at the Arts Council North East have been forced to slash around 6.9% from the funds they hand out to 70 organisations such as the Alnwick Playhouse and the Baltic.

Cuts were forced on to the council following the Government's comprehensive spending review.

Those that have been regularly handed cash could be dealt a double blow as councils warn they too will have to reconsider their handouts as the cuts begin to bite.

The pounds 1m Arts Council cuts will be followed up by a complete rethink of which bodies can be helped in future.

Alison Clark-Jenkins, director at Arts Council North East, said they would have to consider radical changes to the way they fund some organisations.

"It's bound to make a difference," Ms Clark-Jenkins said.

"We are going to have to work really close with these organisations now to see what can be done to help them.

"Rather then applying a basic cut for the remaining 8% that needs to go from these we will look at a bigger change.

"Some organisations will be cut harder and there are some organisations which will withstand these cuts.

"I don't think we have seen the end of the golden age but we have a massive challenge ahead of us.

"The arts will be hit hard, especially in this area and we have to work together to get through that. We will let them know by 2011 and if they are even still funded from 2012 so they will have plenty of time for these changes."

Newcastle Council leader David Faulkner said there was further bad news still to come.

"The cuts to frontline organisations has been limited, so I would not go as far as to say the golden age is over but it will be a period of consolidation and retrenchment.

"Many of these organisations will be the victims of a double whammy, because councils are having their budgets cut and they will have to pass that on. …

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