Union's plea as Nottingham Playhouse ‘has funding cut from £433k to nothing’
A union has said it is “appalled” after reporting that the Nottingham Playhouse will have its funding reduced from £433,000 to nothing if proposed budget cuts are approved.
Nottingham City Council issued itself with a Section 114 notice last November, effectively declaring itself bankrupt.
This meant that all spending apart from on protecting vulnerable people and providing statutory services was suspended.
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The council is now in the process of reviewing £50 million worth of cost-cutting measures, which could include cutting its entire cultural budget for 2024/25.
The Musicians’ Union, which represents over 30,000 people working in the music business, is now calling for Nottingham City Council to reinstate its cultural budget.
Nottingham City Council has cut its entire cultural budget— Musicians' Union (@WeAreTheMU) February 9, 2024
That includes funding for Nottingham Playhouse Theatre, which has gone from £433k to zero
We call upon the Council to reinstate its culture budget in full
🔗 https://t.co/MMCwBLaIh9#WeAreTheMU pic.twitter.com/osOKzIPtNT
Stephen Brown, the Musicians’ Union’s Midlands Regional Organiser, said: “The MU is appalled that Nottingham City Council has made its cultural budget the number one target for cuts to save the money it needs to, so it can try and balance its books.
“Let’s be clear here, although we are appalled with the Council, the main culprit is the Government which has abandoned local authorities over the last 14 years, forcing them into bankruptcy and unable to fund services and deliver for local people.
“The first casualty is always the cultural budget, as councils see it as an easy target that no one will care about.
“This is wholly shortsighted because it will ultimately lead to extra pressure on other budgets that they do have a statutory responsibility for.
“It won’t save them any money at all in the long run, it will cost them.
“The links between culture and residents' well-being are universally documented, providing the basis for a better quality of life."
The statement continued: “Once this breaks down, it puts stresses and strains on other services as the mental health of people deteriorates.”
“We call upon the Council to reinstate its cultural budget in full to ensure the future of the cultural sector in Nottingham, and its cultural and residents’ wellbeing.
“Once it’s gone, its gone and no one will thank them for that, it will be a shocking legacy for them to leave.”
The council’s final budget will be set at a meeting of all city councillors on March 4.