ACE Announces Funding

It has been a surprising day - some arts organisations have taken some very hard knocks and others have been celebrating their good fortune.

Luckily the Arts Council has acknowledged the musical theatre contribution to the economy and Mercury Musical Developments have received full funding for the first time.  They have been given £365,000 over three years and will now, at last, be able to run a festival of new musical theatre along the lines of NAMT in New York, and with the opportunity of a full production for the most successful musical of the season.  Perfect Pitch, another musical theatre development company, also received a grant of £111,756 over three years.

My friend Felix Cross, from the BML, who runs NITRO,  has sadly lost his grant but is not daunted and they are already making plans to keep the company up and running.  It must be tough, after running a theatre company for 32 years to suddenly have the carpet swept from under you.

Many of the regional theatres have taken an 11% cut but Watford Palace Theatre has been lucky with only a 2.9% cut.

One of the major changes that has taken place in the Arts Council is that it has become centralised with the head office working from Manchester, rather than regional offices making the most important decisions.  The cut in Arts Council money given to organisations was cushioned by a cash injection of £85 million from the Lottery, which has at least made it a lot better than it might have been.  This lottery money is focused on work for children and young people and touring.

It has been a tense day for many people in the industry.  You can read more about it all in The Stage Funding Supplement here 


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