Cuts totalling £94,500 will affect the theatre’s scale of performances, community outreach programmes and possibly lead to job losses.
Nottinghamshire County Council have finalised plans to entirely cease its funding for Nottingham Playhouse, reducing their arts budget by nearly £100,000. Despite calls and petitions from the community arguing for the decision to be reversed, the council have stated that the savings are necessary to comply with tough Government austerity measures.
Councillor Joyce Bosnjak, Deputy Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, described the severity of the situation:
“Nottinghamshire County Council is being forced to save £154m over the next three years as a result of Government funding cuts, which represents around a quarter of what we need to continue providing services at the current level.”
The cuts for the Financial Year 2014/15 were put up for public consultation, with nearly 40,000 County residents responding. Their views brought key changes to what would continue to receive funding, such as saving a community café for people with disabilities, and a revision on the depth of cuts surrounding homelessness support.
Mrs Bosnjak believes arts and culture are significant parts of Nottingham, however because of her role in politics the priorities of Nottingham had to be taken into account, with funding towards children and social services being deemed most important. Here she explains more:
Despite the dilemma presented by the budget cuts to the council, much of the community are disappointed that the cuts have affected the playhouse. Chief Executive Stephanie Sirr said of the decision:
“Losing Nottinghamshire County Council support is devastating, I can’t imagine many organisations instantly losing 6 percent of their budget without suffering serious consequences such as job losses.”
Rosemary Nightingale, a Nottinghamshire resident and playhouse supporter, lambasted the council.
“They’re not looking at the long term future, Nottingham Playhouse is such a strong pillar in the community for youngsters, allowing them to experience arts and drama.”