‘Business as usual’ at Norfolk and Norwich Festival, despite reports that it is in trouble

William Galinsky - Norfolk & Norwich Festival's Artistic Director

William Galinsky - Norfolk & Norwich Festival's Artistic Director

Tristan Holden

‘It’s business as usual’ - that was the message today from the artistic director at the Norfolk and Norwich Festival, following reports that the flagship arts organisation for the East of England was in trouble.

A report on BBC Radio Norfolk this morning speculated on the future of the festival, after an anonymous caller rang to say that workers were being made redundant and queried whether the festival would be able to continue.

Speaking to the Evening News/EDP, William Galinsky, Norfolk & Norwich Festival’s artistic director, would not confirm or deny whether the festival was in financial difficulties or if any redundancies had been made.

But he said: “It’s business as usual. The festival is able to continue. We are a £3.5m turnover business.

“We are well under way in our preparations for next year’s festival and for the years after it. Our resources need to be used in the most effective and efficient way.

“Our programme each year is different and the resources needed depend on that programme.”

Afterwards, Mr Galinsky said in a statement issued by the festival: “In the current economic climate it is crucial that any business is flexible.

“Every year at this time we review our current and future needs relative to the planned artistic programme for the following year.

“As well as producing this year’s May festival, we have led on the London 2012 Festival in the East of England really putting the region on the map culturally.

“Over 80,000 saw or took part in a festival event this year and preparations are well under way for a fantastic festival in 2013.”

The festival is funded and supported by Arts Council England, Norfolk County Council, Norwich City Council and the generous support of sponsors and donors.

A spokesman for the Arts Council England said: “Arts Council England is working closely with local authority stakeholders and Norfolk and Norwich Festival in this challenging economic climate to devise a sustainable way forward for this important national festival.”

The festival is also being backed by Norwich Theatre Royal.

Spokesman John Bultitude said: “The Norfolk and Norwich Festival is a major part of the county’s cultural life and has brought many exciting and innovative productions and events to Norfolk, as well as making a key contribution to the local economy.

“We will continue to work closely with the festival, offering as much help and support as we can.”

As reported, this year’s Norfolk and Norwich Festival celebrated a record number of ticket sales and sell-out performances – 75 performances were sold out and tickets sales increased by 15pc on the previous year, from 26,000 to 30,000.

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