Hampstead forced to axe education department after local council cuts funding

Hampstead Theatre has revealed that it will be forced to close its education department at the end of this academic year, following a 100% cut to its funding from Camden council.

Earlier this year, the London venue revealed that Camden had completely removed its £54,221 annual support from April 2012. The funding had already been reduced from a level of £74,148 in 2010/11.

Hampstead artistic director Edward Hall said that the theatre’s decision to shut its creative learning department was “a direct result of local council cuts”.

He added: “In order to ensure that Hampstead Theatre remains financially stable, we have had to take this regrettable step. Every effort will be made by all of us here at the theatre to relaunch our formal educational work as soon as we are in a financial position to do so. In the meantime, I hope that the government will rethink its position of capping tax relief on charitable donations, as it is precisely this kind of philanthropy that theatres like Hampstead will rely on to deliver services that benefit all walks of the community.”

Hampstead’s creative learning department includes the Heat & Light Young Company and it also offers scriptwriting projects in local schools, a community outreach programme for older participants and workshops for ‘at risk’ groups in the local community. In 2010/11, the department engaged 3,941 participants across 584 sessions.

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