Birmingham cuts arts budget by 100%

The city of Birmingham, once the flagship for local authority support for culture, is cutting all its arts funding from the next financial year.

The decision will affect companies such as Birmingham Rep, the Birmingham Opera Company, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the Ikon Gallery which are among ten arts organisations that were to have received grants. .

The cuts for 2025-26, thought to be the largest single arts funding cancellation ever, comes as the city council faces a £300m budget shortfall over the next two years. Meanwhile, there will be 50% cuts this year for those getting regular funding. A year ago the council had allocated almost £9m to support the arts in 2023-26, and av were of £2.488,270 a year.

Conductor Andrew Griffiths told The Stage: “Something like this sems to happen almost daily right now. These really are bleak times in the arts:”, while former RSC CEO Erica Whyman said simple: “Christ. On it goes” and Birmingham Rep director and choreographer Viv Bayliss added, “A career in the arts really does seem hop less right now”.

In a statement the CBSO, which has received funding from Birmingham City Council for 104 years, said: “We are devastated at what the… Birmingham City Council cuts could mean for Birmingham and the impact that they would have on people’s daily lives across the city. The arts, culture, and heritage industries play a vital role in the economic and social life of our city; enhancing people’s lives, supporting jobs, and putting Birmingham on the world-stage. The city council’s proposals would see investment in the cultural sector cut by 60% in 2024 and 100% in 2025”.

John Cotton, leader of Labour run Birmingham Council, apologised unreservedly for the spending. Reductions, blaming the “national crisis in local government finance”.  

 

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