Spending Review: Fears for Liverpool's DaDa festival

Image caption,
Ruth Gould is worried that disabled people will bear the brunt of the cuts

The future of a national arts festival for deaf and disabled people looks uncertain due to the Spending Review.

The DaDa International Festival in Liverpool is a 16-day series of events which attracts more than 11,000 people from across the UK.

It relies on city council and Arts Council England funding but Chancellor George Osborne has announced spending cuts to both bodies.

Many disabled artists will also be affected by the £7bn in welfare cuts.

Ruth Gould, the festival's founder, said before the results of the review were announced that its funding from the Arts Council next year would be reduced by 10%.

She said she did not yet know how the government's cuts would affect the festival's funding for next year.

"I am scared, yes, in the past few years disabled and deaf people have been getting a voice," she said.

"The Disability Act has helped ensure certain things are put in place so we can enter mainstream work.

"Now, however, I feel all those mechanisms are going to be watered down.

"Disability awareness could be put back on the bottom of the pile.

Arts cuts

"We are the poorest in society, one out of two of us is unemployed. With these new widespread spending issues we are going to bear the brunt of it."

However, she said Mr Osborne's announcement was "not as bad as expected".

There will be a 15% cut to front line arts grants but there will also be a 41% cut to administration within the Arts Council which is likely to impact those reliant on its funding.

DaDa International Festival is the only long term event of its kind in the UK and runs from 18 November to 3 December.

It has been running annually for the past decade.

This year there will be 170 artists displaying their work. Ms Gould said that since the festival began in 2010 more than 100,000 people had visited and been involved.

Of those, she said, 75% had gone on to find work and further their careers.

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