Arts cuts reduced to 15% in Nottingham

Published: 19 March 2021
Reporter: Steve Orme

Facing a cut in its grant—but not as much as expected: Nottingham Playhouse

Plans to cut arts organisations’ funding by 37% have been reviewed by Nottingham city council which has reduced the cuts to 15%.

It followed action by the Public Campaign for the Arts, which encouraged people to respond to a consultation on the authority’s budget. More than 3,600 people made their views known—about two-thirds of them about the planned arts cuts. The Campaign described it as a “fantastic result” for its first local campaign.

Councillor David Mellen, leader of the city council, said, “in considering the comments of those who participated in the consultation, we have to listen. I’m taking the unusual step of proposing an amendment to our own budget.

“The arts are important. It’s really important that we try to minimise the cuts to their valuable work.”

Councillor Steve Battlemuch told a council meeting that the cultural sector “needs our support now more than ever. When we build back out of the COVID crisis, the arts and entertainment industry will be a key part of it, bringing back jobs and life into city centres as people seek some pleasure by attending theatres and museums.”

Nottingham Playhouse artistic director Adam Penford commented, “we’re immensely grateful to the city council for reducing the level of cut in 2021–22. We don’t underestimate the enormous pressure local authorities are under.

“A massive thanks to all of you at the Public Campaign for the Arts for your time and efforts. It’s really appreciated.”