the media and entertainment union
a sector of Prospect

20 October 2010

BECTU will be urging the Arts Council to allow organisations to stagger the implementation of funding cuts arising from today's (20 October) government Comprehensive Spending Review.

BECTU will press the case for a managed approach to change so that arts bodies can be given every opportunity to limit the fallout from cuts to the Arts Council's income.

Ministers confirmed today that the Arts Council is to lose 30 per cent of its funding over the next four years.

Whilst culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has insisted that the maximum cut to be passed on to any 'regularly funded organisation' should not exceed 15 per cent, BECTU is concerned that theatres up and down the country, many of which struggle already on modest budgets, should be given the time to adjust to the new financial constraints.

We must avoid a rush to cut

"It is vital that venues can continue to invest in new productions to keep their operations alive for the longer term," said BECTU's general secretary, Gerry Morrissey.

"The arts make a tremendous contribution to the UK's economy; the sector has also seen significant investment via the Lottery. It would be criminal if venues were allowed to fail because of a rush to cut," Gerry Morrissey said.

BECTU will also be working to ensure that venues do not suffer a double hit where they receive funding both from the Arts Council and from a local authority.

The Stage Online captures views from across the arts

The arts are about quality of life

The TUC's rally against the cuts (use link for video report), held yesterday,19 October, at London's Westminster Central Hall, heard speaker after speaker confirm the extent to which UK society relies on public funds. 

Whether the debate is about the NHS, education, community groups, housing, welfare support for the vulnerable or the arts, public funding is essential to health, community life, personal progress and hope for millions and millions of people.

Actors Benedict Cumberpatch (Sherlock Holmes) and Joseph Kloska (Made In Dagenham) gave their support to the unions' campaign on behalf of Equity and the Federation of Entertainment Unions.