Lancaster arts groups carry on in face of cuts

More Music's Baybeat Street Band perform at last year's West End Lantern Festival.
More Music's Baybeat Street Band perform at last year's West End Lantern Festival.

Arts groups are determined to carry on their great work in our area despite a cash cuts blow.

The Dukes theatre, Ludus Dance and More Music have vowed to minimise the impact on the public when their annual money from Lancashire County Council ends next year.

The county council has announced plans to stop funding them from April 2018.

The Dukes theatre received £90,000 in 2017/18, down from £156,400 in 2015/16.

Ivan Wadeson, Dukes chief executive officer, said: “We are saddened about the county council cuts given their historical commitment to The Dukes and to arts development in Lancashire.

“The Dukes is among at least 20 cultural organisations affected across the county but we have developed plans to minimise the impact on the public.” The Dukes also receives cash from Arts Council England, Lancaster City Council, Lancaster University and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

Di Cuming, CEO of Ludus Dance in Lancaster which received £32,000 in 2017/18, said: “Any cuts to funding make us even more determined to succeed in attracting other sources of income to deliver and develop our work.”

Kathryn MacDonald, development director at More Music, said the West End-based community music organisation – which runs music classes and local events such as the kite festival – was “saddened at the loss of this funding”.

“The Lancashire County Council grant is part of a wide portfolio of funding for More Music and a small percentage of our turnover,” she said. “We will continue to diversify our funding streams to build a sustainable future for the organisation.”

She said the cuts would have “a significant impact on arts provision in Lancashire”.

More Music, based at The Hothouse on Devonshire Road, received £28,000 from the county in 2017/18.

A Lancashire County Council spokesman said funding cuts were due to “the difficult financial situation faced by the county council”.

“Arts and culture are important and we’ve been working with community groups across the county to ensure they can continue their good work, after the county council funding has ended,” they said.

“We’re continuing to run projects in our libraries and museums which help to bring communities together.”