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Charity Arts Development UK to close as local council cuts bite

The organisation advocates for arts development in local communities. Photo: Shutterstock
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National charity Arts Development UK is to close after 35 years due to the impact of local authority cuts.

The organisation, which draws its membership from local authorities, organisations and individuals, advocates for arts development in local communities.

However, due to cuts to arts services and reduced budgets in local councils, the charity has increasingly struggled to raise income through membership subscriptions.

According to data from Arts Council England, more than £56 million of arts funding was cut by local authorities between 2009 and 2014.

Local authority arts funding ‘cut by more than £56m’

In November 2016, Arts Development UK predicted that local council funding for the arts would fall by a further £26 million from 2016 to 2017.

Chair of ADUK Jane Wilson said: “The landscape for Arts Development UK has become more and more challenging over the past few years.

“Significant numbers of local authorities have lost their arts development services and officers, or have had to operate with greatly reduced budgets, and our ability to raise income through subscriptions has reduced year on year.”

She added: “This has been an incredibly difficult decision, but the board decided that rather than spending our time trying to keep ADUK going, we should look for alternative way to meet the needs of our members.”

A press statement said that ADUK had opened up discussions with other organisations, including the Chief Culture and Leisure Officers Association and the Artsworks Alliance, to support its members after the closure and to identify new ways to provide the support it currently provides to members from April 2018 onwards.

The statement added that it hoped ADUK members would “find a new home” with another organisation which suited their needs

A resolution to close Arts Development will be put to the membership at the charity’s annual general meeting on March 22, at Toynbee Studios in London.

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