Derby

City council to cut Derby's Quad arts centre funding

Derby Quad
Image caption The council wants Quad to become self-sufficient

Derby City Council has announced plans to cut funding to some of the city's main arts and culture venues.

Quad Arts Centre and Deda, formerly Derby Dance Centre, will have their funding gradually phased out over the next four years.

The council said it hoped both venues would become self-sufficient by increasing their commercial income.

Quad's Chief Executive Keith Jeffrey described the budget proposals as "an unexpected hammer blow".

Derby City Council needs to save about £23m in 2012/13 to cover government cuts and a freeze in council tax.

Another arts venue, Derby Theatre, is to lose its funding immediately after its new owners, the University of Derby, indicated it was happy to run the venue alone.

The council also revealed library opening hours will be cut again - some to only 20 hours a week.

No childrens' centres will be closed although some may offer fewer services.

'Ringing endorsement'

Mr Jeffrey described the decision to cut Quad's funding as "bewildering".

He said: "Our other key funder Arts Council England has recognised Quad as one of the country's most important arts and media centres and actually increased their investment.

Image caption Council leader Philip Hickson said the budget would protect "things people hold dear".

"In the light of this ringing endorsement, it is difficult to understand Derby City Council's apparent lack of interest in sustaining a lively arts and cultural scene."

Philip Hickson, leader of Derby City Council, said: "Out of all of this, the public can be assured there will be no library closures and all of those things that people hold dear are going to be protected.

"We're not going to be switching any street lights off and on the whole I think it's really good news for the public."

He said Derby residents will "not have a swingeing council tax bill arriving on their mat anytime soon".

The council said it remained committed to a planned velodrome and sports centre at Pride Park, a new swimming pool and the refurbishment of the Council House.

The budget proposals will be voted on at a council meeting on 15 December.

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