One year after UK’s Newcastle “Theatre Royal” spent $6,487,701 on renovations and celebrated its 175th birthday with Susan Boyle’s musical “I Dreamed a Dream,” the struggling city of Newcastle is cutting 100% funding to art organizations.
According to the Newcastle council, they will be cutting services and 1,300 jobs in order to save $11,677,862.28 a year. For example, the UK's BBC reports that funding to the Great North Museum will stop along with half the funding to Tyne & Wear Museum and Archives. Art buffs feel that cuts like these will raise entry fees at places like the Discovery Museum and the Laing Art Gallery.
"We will not abandon the residents of this city, but as we cease to provide some services they will have to do more for themselves and expect less from the council," said Nick Forbes when he announced the full budget plans. According to Forbes, the "government's funding settlement had put the council in an impossible position from which there is no escape." The Guardian reports that the council leader blames “dark day for public services” on grossly unfair cuts to a government grant.
Newcastle upon Tyne: Seven Stories is the first museum in the UK dedicated to the art of British children's books and the creativity they inspire.
In addition to the Newcastle Theatre Royal losing their funding, so did Seven Stories --- Britain's National gallery and archive that celebrates the wonderful world of children’s books. and who had just received permission to use the National Center for Children's Books as a dynamic center for the celebration of children's literature; this involves leading authors, illustrators, and an extensive archive.
Newcastle's city council also states they will be closing 10 of the 18 libraries over the next three years. The cut includes closing a swimming pool and transferring responsibility for four leisure centers.The Newcastle budget plans follow a previously made decision by Somerset County Council to withdraw its entire 2010 arts budget and major council cuts to art organizations in places like Darlington and Derby.
Unfortunately, the art cuts in Newcastle are thought to do damage to the city's culture, its vibrancy and viability, according to the Guardian. "If Newcastle goes ahead with its cuts, it's likely that others will follow," reports The Theater Blog with Lyn Gardner.
Newcastle is the latest council to propose a 100% cut to its arts and theatre budget – a move which would deepen the divide between London and the rest of the country