Norfolk

Norfolk and Norwich Festival's council funding cut by 90%

Farenheit 451 Image copyright Norfolk and Norwich Festival
Image caption A feature this year will be an open air presentation of Ray Bradbury's book Farenheit 451

Organisers of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival are seeking a major sponsor after being hit with a 90% funding cut.

The festival of theatre, music, literary and arts - which runs from 8 to 24 May - will see its grant cut from £83,400 to £8,442 in 2015-16.

The county council said its arts funding has been reduced from about £250,000 to £150,000 as part of its overall budget savings.

Organisers said they had worked hard to ensure 2015 would not be affected.

Artistic director William Galinsky said it was a "sad day to see Norfolk County Council ending its commitment as one of the festival's principal funders".

"We are grateful to Norwich City Council and the Arts Council for their continued investment and support," he added.

Image copyright Norfolk and Norwich Festival
Image caption One of the acts from last year's popular festival that used many venues across Norfolk

Executive director Alex Darbyshire said: "We have successfully expanded the number of sponsors and production partners in recent years.

"We also feel that we are in a strong position to attract a principal sponsor to support the festival into the future."

Smaller projects favoured

Margaret Wilkinson, of Norfolk County Council's communities committee, said: "Over the past four years our central government funding has been cut by £85m.

"Demand for services has increased, so the council must take some tough decisions to balance its budget.

"So a reduction in arts funding is inevitable."

The council said it had spread cuts to favour smaller projects. Six awards were frozen and the rest suffered funding reductions.

Council Grants Awarded for 2015-16

  • Cinema Plus - £2,506
  • Community Music East - £2,560
  • Creative Arts East - £10,764
  • Kings Lynn Arts Centre - £5,504
  • King's Lynn Festival - £4,976
  • Maddermarket Theatre - £1,420
  • Norfolk & Norwich Festival - £8,442
  • Norwich Arts Centre - £7,767
  • Norwich Playhouse - £3,548
  • Norwich Puppet Theatre - £4,355
  • Norwich Theatre Royal - £2,500
  • St. George's Theatre - £5,220
  • SeaChange Arts - £6,458
  • Sheringham Little Theatre - £4,992
  • Thalia Theatre Company - £1,260
  • The Garage - £9,835
  • Westacre - £3,720
  • Writers' Centre Norwich - £7,772
  • Wymondham Music Festival - £1,250
  • Total - £94,849

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