Norfolk: Plan To Cut Arts Budget Scrapped

22 February 2013, 05:51 | Updated: 22 February 2013, 05:55

Norfolk County Council have decided to scrap a plan to cut the budget for arts projects around Norfolk this year.

As part of the council’s Big Conversation the arts grants budget was due to be reduced by £49,000 in the coming financial year.

Barry Stone, Norfolk County Council’s Cabinet member for Cultural Services, said:
"The council continues to make large savings and efficiencies in order to cope with reduced national funding, but despite this we have managed to avoid cutting the arts budget for the coming financial year.

"I am delighted that we’ve been able to maintain last year’s levels of funding, as investing in the arts brings huge benefits to Norfolk and its residents."

In 2011-12, an investment of £288,480 by Norfolk County Council in arts organisations across Norfolk helped to generate a combined overall income to these organisations of £19,612,669 from a range of local, national, and international sources.

Councillor Stone added:
"The arts sector makes a significant contribution to the local economy through the creation of jobs, spend on locally sourced goods, and increased visitor spend on food, drink and accommodation.

"It also provides communities with access to quality activities in their area, boosting health and wellbeing and presenting them with a chance to develop new skills, both accredited and informal.

"Crucially, by investing in the arts, we also lever huge investment into Norfolk from a wide range of regional, national, and international sources."
Liz Falconbridge, Director of the King's Lynn Arts Centre Trust, said:
"As an independent trust the County Council funding is crucial to us.  It is not only a pot of funding, but it is also an endorsement that we are meeting cultural objectives at a county level, as well as at a King's Lynn and West Norfolk level."

Debbie Thompson, Director of Sheringham Little Theatre, also voiced her support, saying:
"I am absolutely delighted to hear this news.  Norfolk County Council’s valued support for the Little Theatre enables us to continue offering arts activities and events for the local community and visitors to our district."