Bristol’s Tom Morris welcomes regional arts funding report
Bristol Old Vic artistic director Tom Morris has welcomed a report highlighting a London bias when it comes to arts funding, warning that theatres outside London are facing a “tripple whammy” of cuts.
Morris was responding to the Rebalancing our Cultural Capital report, which claimed that Arts Council England allocated more than five times as much spending per resident to London organisations as those outside the capital in 2012/13.
Morris said: “This is a brilliantly argued report, and it’s essential to see it in context. Regional theatres have been in receipt of a triple whammy. First of all our core funding was cut in the austerity measure. Secondly, across the country, local authorities have reduced their investment in the arts, although thankfully in Bristol it’s been at least kept steady. And thirdly, as we all know, the philanthropic and sponsorship income that we’ve been encouraged to raise is far harder to attain in the regions than it is in London.
“What that means is that in any regional theatre, even here where over the last year we’ve smashed box office records with Peter Pan and A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Neil Bartlett’s Great Expectations now playing, has had reviews to die for, we’re absolutely in the margins of viability. We’re looking day by day at whether or not we can afford to create next year’s programme, and that’s because of that triple whammy. The reality is precarious.”
We need your help…
When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.
The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.
We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.
Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.