Funding relief for Scarboro’ groups

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THREE organisations in Scarborough are celebrating after securing Arts Council funding for the next three years beginning 2012/13.

The funding, which was announced yesterday, has been made available for the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Crescent Arts and the National Student Drama Festival.

Crescent Arts will receive £70,000 each year, which is 58 per cent up on last time.

Director Stuart Cameron said: “It’s really the difference between us being able to survive in the long term or not.

“It’s a huge vote of confidence in what we’re doing here.”

He added that he believes Scarborough as a whole had done very well for arts funding, saying: “It absolutely demonstrates a recognition of what is happening with the arts in Scarborough and the fact that they want to keep that going.”

The money will go towards supporting and promoting contemporary visual arts in Scarborough and beyond.

Mr Cameron said: “We’re absolutely over the moon. It means we can plan for the next four years and further ahead.

“We have also secured funding from Scarborough Council of £8,500, which is critical for us, so they also deserve credit for that. Without that money we would have a very difficult time.”

Holly Kendrick, director of the National Student Drama Festival, which starts in Scarborough on April 9, said they had received a five per cent increase on 2011/12, which means they will get £55,000 in 2012/13.

She said: “It’s exactly what we asked for, so it’s great news.

“Our Arts Council funding was cut completely in 2007, so since then we’ve been working very closely with them and communicating exactly what we do.”

Ms Kendrick added that despite being delighted at the news, she also felt for other organisations who hadn’t been so lucky.

The festival is now in its 56th year and will feature 13 shows taken from over 100 which have been showing all over the country.

The Stephen Joseph Theatre was also among the more fortunate organisations who secured funding.

Artistic director Chris Monks said: “We are pleased that the Arts Council recognises the achievement of the theatre and that our future plans are viable and exciting.”

However he said that there was still an element of anger about funding cuts to other organisations and uncertainty about the future.

He said: “However our programme of work for the next three years is also dependent on other sources of funding still to be confirmed.

“Like many other arts organisations, the SJT is appalled by the extent of cuts forced on Arts Council England by a Government whose arts policy is laying waste the cultural landscape.”

Arts Council regional director Cluny Macpherson said: ‘We had to make difficult choices, but have built a strong portfolio with audiences and artists at the centre of our decisions.”