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Birmingham City Council scales back proposed arts cuts

Birmingham Rep and Birmingham MAC, which are are among the organisations that may be affected. Photos: Richard Byrant/Craig Holmes

Birmingham City Council has scaled down proposed cuts to arts funding following a public consultation of its budget.

It was announced in October last year [1] that cultural organisations could face the effects of a 33% cut to Birmingham City Council’s total arts budget.

This would have been the third significant reduction of arts funding in four years and would have seen the total arts budget fall from £3.17 million to £2.12 million.

Arts organisations including Birmingham MAC and Birmingham Repertory Theatre have weathered the effects of council cuts, despite being forced to operate on increasingly small budgets.

Birmingham Rep hit with 62% cut from council [2]

They responded to news of the fresh threats by launching a petition in protest [1].

Following this and a public consultation on the cuts, the council has published a revised budget proposal that would see the cuts halve in size to £500,000.

The budget also includes a £2 millon Arts Endowment Fund to help support organisations to become self-sustaining.

Councillor Ian Ward, leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “Tough decisions have had to be made, but these decisions have been shaped by the feedback we have received through our consultation.

“I want to thank everyone who took the time to have their say on our proposals. As you can see, we have listened and we have made changes to our proposals to reflect what you’ve told us.”

Birmingham MAC and Birmingham Rep declined to comment further.

The budget will go before the council’s cabinet on February 12 before going to full council for final approval on February 26.