Keep art in the frame!
Published Date: Fri 3rd Dec 2010
On Friday 3 December, Barnet Council announced their proposal to cut all core funding to artsdepot, the only professional arts venue in the borough. This came as a huge shock due to the late notice and the venue’s previously good relationship with the council. At an already difficult time, this leaves the future of artsdepot in an increasingly vulnerable position.
The director of artsdepot, Nigel Cutting, said, ‘I am shocked and disappointed at this proposal as I have been in constant dialogue with Barnet Council for the last six months, and at no time had it been suggested to us that funding would be withdrawn in 2011. Whilst we recognise that in times of reduced public expenditure, arts provision will need to take a share of the cuts, this is hugely disproportionate and short-sighted, especially with artsdepot being only 6 years old, and being a council initiative. If it goes through, Barnet will be one of the largest councils in the country to spend nothing on the arts. A local authority area with twice the population of
Oxford at least deserves a degree of arts provision. We are all aware that central government is reducing what it spends on the arts, but isn’t cutting it altogether. Neither should Barnet Council.’
In the past financial year, artsdepot received £194,000 from Barnet Borough Council, amounting to 11% of its overall income. Comparable arts venues in six other
London boroughs received local authority support amounting to between £226,000 and £650,000, which made up between 18% and 68% of their overall turnover. artsdepot has always strived not to be dependent on one core funder, earning around half of its income itself through, amongst other things, box office sales and hires. Around a further 25% of funding comes from private trusts and foundations who value its work. However, the late notice of this announcement makes it incredibly difficult for the venue to plan for the consequences of the proposed cuts.
artsdepot is the only professional arts venue in the
London borough of Barnet, and provides a wide variety of theatre, children’s shows, comedy, dance, visual arts and music for the local community, as well as a diverse range of courses, classes and education and outreach programmes. The venue has been recognised by the Mayor of London as a beacon of excellence, and by Arts Council England as a vitally important part of the capital’s cultural provision. In 2009/2010, more than 110,000 people came through artsdepot’s doors, and the education and outreach departments worked with groups including young people with disabilities, refugees, young offenders, people with dementia and those excluded from mainstream education.
artsdepot are urging anyone concerned about this decision to:
Sign the online petition here
Write to local Councillor Rams outlining your concerns (template letter below) at 6 Delroy Court, Franklin, Close,
London N20 9QT or email: Cllr.email@example.com
artsdepot lobby letter template
(Word doc - 33kb)
Consultation on proposed changes to grants programme
(Word doc - 164kb)
Vikki Mizon at artsdepot on 020 8369 5467 or firstname.lastname@example.org