Funding for Create Studios, Prime Theatre and Swindon Spring Festival under threat from proposed council cuts

By Jamie Hill - 4 February 2020

Arts and CulturePolitics

Swindon Borough Council is considering cutting more than £80,000 from arts organisations as part of its annual budget.

The council is considering cutting £33,600 from Prime Theatre, £13,400 from Reach Inclusive Arts, £5,200 from Swindon Spring Festival and £30,700 from Create Studios. This would be a complete removal of their council grants.

The budget is being discussed at a borough council cabinet meeting tomorrow night before the final decision is taken at full council later this month.

Prime Theatre is urging the council to reconsider the cuts. Artistic Director, Mark Powell said: "Prime Theatre understand the financial pressures the council is under but urges Cabinet to recognise the work we do in supporting the borough's most vulnerable children.

"This past year we raised an additional £200k in funding to go straight into activity, often adding extra income and resource to the Council's own budgets and priorities.

"We unlock most of this income because we can cite SBC financial support in our applications. Negotiations are ongoing and I hope councillors make the decision to support our young people until we can plan any new long-term business strategy."

To show support for the arts organisations Prime Theatre is urging people to email Cllr Dale Heenan (dale.heenan@googlemail.com) Lead member for the Town Centre and Leader of the Council Cllr David Renard (DRenard@swindon.gov.uk).

Councillor Dale Heenan, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for the Town Centre, said: “Next year the Council has to find £16m in savings in order to balance its budget and a number of proposals have been put forward in order to achieve this.

“No decisions on the current budget will be made until the Full Council meeting later this month and we are currently in discussions with affected groups in the meantime.”

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