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The Drum in Birmingham closes amid financial troubles

The Drum in Birmingham. Photo: The Drum The Drum in Birmingham. Photo: The Drum
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Birmingham-based arts centre the Drum is to close following financial difficulties.

The multi-arts venue, which programmes music, dance, theatre, film and spoken word for multi-cultural audiences, will shut its doors in June and the organisation will be liquidated.

A statement from the company said: “A combination of challenges including the current financial climate, unfortunately came together in a manner that left the board with no viable alternatives.”

The Drum’s primary funder, Arts Council England, attended a board meeting in which a resolution was passed to wind down and liquidate the organisation.

Chair Sharon Palmer said: “After months of undergoing an organisational review, staff restructures, consultations with staff and external stakeholders, alongside constant negotiations with funders, we can assure the community, staff and supporters that this decision was not taken lightly.”

A petition launched following the news of the Drum’s closure has so far attracted 1,670 signatures.

The petition, which is calling for support to try to save the venue, argues that, as the only cultural provider in the north of Birmingham, the Drum is a “vital cultural asset” and its closure will have a detrimental impact on BAME audiences and artists who engage with it.

Peter Knott, ACE’s area director in the Midlands, said the funding body, alongside Birmingham City Council, remained committed to supporting cultural activity for black and minority ethnic audiences in the area.

It comes as the local council announces a three-month inquiry into alternative funding sources for the arts in Birmingham.

All Drum performances scheduled until June will go ahead as planned.

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