Norwich Puppet Theatre general manager, Ian Woods, and director, Joy Haynes, with a few of the Tinderbox puppets from a production 24 years ago. Picture: Denise Bradley

Norfolk County Council cancels plans to reduce funding for the arts

Monday, February 25, 2013
2.22 PM

Norfolk’s arts scene has received a boost after the county council announced it was cancelling plans to reduce its funding for the sector.

The council’s arts grants budget had been due to be cut by £49,000 in the coming financial year as part of its Big Conversation, but now the authority has reversed the decision.

This means that the council will share £253,480 between various arts organisations in 2013/14, the same overall amount of funding that was allocated to the sector in the current financial year.

Arts organisations should find out in April if they are to receive funding from the council and, if so, how much it will be.

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 (2012/13) levels of funding, as investing in the arts brings huge benefits to Norfolk and its residents.”

He 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.”

John Bultitude, a spokesman for Norwich Theatre Royal, which received £37,000 from the council in 2012/13, said: “We are delighted Norfolk County Council has decided not to cut its arts funding for the next financial year.

“We recognise they are facing some tough financial decisions and it is heartening they continue to recognise the value of the county’s arts sector.

“The arts has a strong role to play in reaching out to all communities and we continue to offer a wide-ranging education programme working with over 25,000 local young people each year.

“This sector also contributes a significant amount of money to the county’s economy with many businesses benefiting from a thriving arts scene.”

Do you have a story about the arts? Call reporter Emma Knights on 01603 772428