Newcastle plans annual £600k art fund
Newcastle City Council is to finalise an annual £600,000 fund for art and cultural organisations in the region, the council has announced.
Developed in partnership with Arts Council England North East, the Newcastle Culture Fund would allocate money from sources including public health funding and town hall investment to art organisations.
The town hall has amended plans to cut 100% of its funding for arts organisations after the deputy leader of the Labour Party, Harriet Harman, intervened and put a stop to the council’s proposals.
The Newcastle Culture Fund will go to a full meeting of the council on Wednesday 6 March for agreement.
An independent panel established by charity the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland would work within the fund.
Savings generated through a potential shared service arrangement with Newcastle University may also be reinvested into cultural schemes, Newcastle City Council said.
Newcastle City Council leader Cllr Nick Forbes said: ‘I’m tremendously excited by the progress made on the Newcastle Culture Fund. It’s an example of what can be achieved when organisations like ourselves, the Arts Council and cultural venues come together and think differently.
‘The value of arts and culture to Newcastle has never been in doubt; what has been in doubt is the funding to support them. This new approach not only provides that security, but means those who wish can also make a contribution.’
Chair of Arts Council England, Peter Bazalgette, said: ‘We recognise the pressures Newcastle City Council has been facing. The Arts Council is grateful for the way in which the City Council has worked closely with us to broker this new funding package for key cultural venues.
‘But, of course, a 50 per cent cut to the culture budget still means serious economic and social impact for Newcastle and beyond.’
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