Arts Council funding for Bradford arts company Kala Sangam is slashed by £100,000 (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Arts Council funding for Bradford arts company Kala Sangam is slashed by £100,000
Updated 5:10pm Wednesday 2nd July 2014 in News
A HIGH profile arts organisation's future is in doubt in Bradford after the Arts Council slashed its funding by half.
The South Asian arts company Kala Sangam is now involved in crisis talks with its board but Chief Executive Ajit Singh fears the cut in funding could lead to the collapse of the body.
Under the announcement, Kala Sangam will get £100,000 a year for the next three years from April, down from nearly £200,000.
Others getting a part of the £3.2m package are Mind the Gap, England's largest learning disability theatre company - £ 206,390 a year; Impressions Gallery, a leading venue for photography - £202,281 a year; Freedom Studios, which creates theatre “in response to political and cultural worldwide events” - £140,949 a year; the annual Ilkley Literature Festival - £137,424 a year; The Writing Squad, which is a development agency for young writers - £ 97,743 a year; Dance United Yorkshire - £90,000 a year; Artworks, which works with professional artists to develop projects - £57,496 a year; and Theatre in the Mill, based at the University of Bradford - £ 40,271 a year.
In addition Mind the Gap is to receive capital funding of £120,000 to help it increase its capacity and to reach new audiences through digital technologies.
Eight of the organisations have been part of the Arts Council's national portfolio, with Dance United Yorkshire getting funds for the first time.
Mr Singh said: "We are the only South Asian arts company nationally to have a 50 per cent cut and the only company in Bradford to have such a massive reduction.
"It is too early to say what will happen, we will have crisis meetings to see how we can plan a way forwards and we are meeting the Arts Council next week to put across our deep concern about their decision making. We cannot sustain the organisation with this level of funding. I am talking about the organisation as a whole continuing. It will have an effect on the organisation in its entirety."
The overall funding is slightly up on last year, but while Kala Sangam has faced a substantial cut, £90,000 will go to Dance United Yorkshire, which shares the same building in Forster Square.
Mind the Gap's Artistic Director, Tim Wheeler said: "This will enable the company to continue to create exciting theatre experiences for audiences, and remain at the forefront of nurturing the talents of learning disabled artists.
"These remain economically difficult times for the arts sector. We are committed to supporting emerging artists and other organisations through partnerships and access to the facilities at Mind the Gap Studios in Bradford".
In making the announcement, the Arts Council described Dance United Yorkshire as contributing to the establishment of a national dance hub around Leeds. They work with young people not engaged with culture and often socially or economically excluded.
Funding applications had outstripped resources by £70m nationally.
Bradford Council's culture spokeswoman, Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, said: "£3.2 million is a significant investment by the Arts Council into Bradford's arts organisations.
"There are winners and losers but given the aggressive level of Government cuts to the Arts Council budget, the picture for Bradford is as good as we could expect at this time. I'd still like to see more rebalancing of the Arts Council budget so that the North gets a fairer deal and will continue to lobby for this nationally."
Pete Massey, the Arts Council's North director, said: "I am pleased that we have been able to sustain a good level of investment in Bradford despite challenging economic times."
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