Arts Derbyshire


Cuts to Arts and Culture enhance Inequalities and remove Vital Services for Derbyshire Citizens

Nine key arts organisations in Derbyshire are facing having their funding cut under a proposal by the County Council. The recommendation is part of decisions around Council spending  cuts, which include cutting the entire arts budget and which took place alongside an authority-wide review into grant giving. This will result in severe cuts to a wide range of arts activities and the jobs that support them, and at least two organisations are facing probable closure, while others stand to lose premises.

Each year over 140,000 people benefit from the work of  these organisations, who work extensively with vulnerable people of all ages and in economically deprived areas. These cuts represent a significant blow to Derbyshire communities, leaving people needing additional support from already pressed statutory services. Those  affected include people living with dementia, mental health issues or learning disabilities, children, young people in care, the elderly or isolated, and displaced peoples. Additionally, the role of these organisations in building communities, developing exciting artworks, and supporting a new generation of creative specialists, will be severely curtailed.

Arts Derbyshire, an umbrella organisation that works closely with the threatened organisations, commented that: “These cuts will mean that decades of growth, skills and local knowledge could be lost, and that’s irreplaceable. Derbyshire County Council should rightly be proud of the vibrant culture sector that their funding has helped to develop, and, like many other local authorities nationally, be looking to use it to support wellbeing and the economy. Small amounts of regular funding to cover core costs help sustain a strong, effective sector. Arts Derbyshire’s nationally-recognised work in social prescribing – supporting community, health and wellbeing through creativity – is underpinned by our thriving and stable community arts organisations; they need to be valued and supported so that they can continue to be there for the people of Derbyshire for years to come.”

Research shows that creative activities have very real benefits for people’s lives. The COVID- 19 Social Study by University College London illustrates just how much people turned to creativity to cope during lockdowns. Many of the organisations at risk reached out and provided invaluable support to their communities during this time. They continue to help people improve their mental health, reduce isolation and learn valuable new skills, connecting communities and celebrating cultures.

The small amount of annual funding that is allocated to these organisations is exceptional value for money, as it enables them to leverage funds from elsewhere – for every £1 invested by the council, the sector brings in excess of £23 into the Derbyshire economy. Whilst organisations have been signposted to apply to a new council grant fund, those that have already applied have been turned down, and others are not eligible to apply. None of the funds which are said to be available for applications provide the long-term stability and core costs that the organisations need in order to be attractive to external or major funders.

The 9 independent creative organisations and their supporters had until September 30th to represent their views to the Council and to persuade them to reverse this devastating decision.

This press release has been compiled on behalf of and in consultation with the following consortium of Derbyshire culture organisations:

For further information please contact the consortium spokesperson:

Paul Steele, Managing Director, Junction Arts
Tel: 01246 209 219

The Derbyshire Culture Sector Consortium
c/o Julie Batten
People Express
The Old Pressing Shop,
Sharpe’s Museum
West Street
DE11 9DG

Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information

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