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Arts Council needs to start looking beyond Zone 1 - and quickly
03/03/2011 16:50:00

Another day, another question (they're like buses - you wait for ages then three come along all at once) - this time to the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, the Rt. Hon. Jeremy Hunt MP.

I asked him how much money the Arts Council spends in London and how much of that comes to Croydon. The answer was that between 1st April and 1st December 2010, London as a whole received £191.4 million. Out of that, Croydon got a paltry £210,000 - just 0.1% of the total when we make up nearly 4.5% of London's population.

Neither the Fairfield Halls nor the London Mozart Players, one of the country's best chamber orchestras who are resident at the Fairfield Halls, get any funding. With the Council having to make difficult spending decisions, including on the arts, it’s more important than ever that Croydon receives its fair share from the Arts Council. At the moment, they seem to be pursuing the kind of zone 1 approach so beloved of the former Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone. That needs to change and quickly. Richard Ottaway, Malcolm Wicks and I have written to Veronica Wadley, the London Chair of the Arts Council, and we will now be raising these shocking figures with her.

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Readers' Comments

On 04/03/2011 00:06:00 Jim wrote:
Once upon a time the Fairfield Halls used to get top names - I still have a programme autographed by by Vladimir Ashkenazy from the 1970s. Good luck getting a fair deal for Croydon.

But what I find shocking is that we have an "Arts Council" at all. I resent the government taking money from me and, via a group of busybodies, deciding what kind of "art" should be supported on my behalf. Can't it be included in the bonfire of the quangos? If the money wasn't grabbed in the first place, you wouldn't have to struggle to get it back.

 
On 04/03/2011 19:17:00 Ted Craig wrote:
I was disappointed that you failed to mention the Warehouse Theatre in your blog even though we are one of Croydon's big success stories. This weekend we celebrate the 25th birthday of our International Playwriting Festival, attracting 300 to 400 entries every year and keeping Croydon's flag flying internationally. Our funding was cut by Croydon Council some years back which has made it tough going, but we survive on sponsorship from our landlords Stanhope and Schroders and funding by London Councils who recognise our worth. We deserve funding from the Arts Council and ask you to strongly include us in your lobby to them. Thanks.
 
On 08/03/2011 21:52:00 Gavin Barwell wrote:
Jim - the Arts Council's budget comes partly from the taxpayer and partly from the Lottery. The Coalition Government is decreasing the former and increasing the latter.

Ted - wasn't aware that the Warehouse had a bid in with the Arts Council but if you do - or if you are going to submit one - of course I'll lobby for you.

 
On 18/03/2011 16:44:00 Anthony Miller wrote:
Not all promoters want money off the state but some off us would like perhaps to be allowed to flyer the public from time to time without being criminalised as ALL antisocial by the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 Section 23 insert to the Environmental Protection Act 1990 94B and schedule 3A - to fine us for littering BEFORE we've handed out any literature.

If Theatre gets over £100,000,000 a year it's surely not asking too much for comedy promoters to be able to actually use the streets from time to time even if we had to pay the council a fee to do so.

Why do you think so many people are promoting in the suburbs these days - it's to get away from all the No Flyering Zones in the cities.

Sacrebleucabaret Cabaret and Mike Fox's Comedy Club at the Fairfield halls both have strong bills and some good acts.

And there's always TV names on at the Ashcroft touring.

I'm amazed the Warehouse Theatre is still there given the number of times various councils have threatened to demolish it in the name of "progress".... then changed their mind ... then changed it again ... then again ... then again ... then come up with a changing premesis or we'll build you a new place in two years time scheme or whatever.

I'd have cleared off years ago if I was Mr Craig. If you dont want to give him money you could give him some political stability?

 
 

 

 

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