Bristol Theatre News

Bristol Creatives to Protest over Arts Funding Delays

Bristol creatives are coming together to protest funding delays by Bristol City Council. They say the delays are causing the local industry to experience ‘hugely damaging consequences’.

In Equity backed action, protestors say it is ‘at odds’ with Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees’ One City Approach for Culture, which launched earlier this month.

Rees is being called upon to restore arts funding and end decision-making by ‘non transparent’ panels.

A petition has now launched with a protest due to take place outside of City Hall on 06 July.

In an open letter to Rees online, protestors say that applicants had expected to hear about the outcome of funding applications back in October 2022. Now, they are having to wait until March 2024, meaning that creative organisations are unable to plan future work leading to loss of income. This may even result in closures.

The online petition says: ‘The Mayor’s claim that he will give the final decision to an ‘independent panel’ about which the he has given no information on the membership or what new process will need to be followed to apply. Mayor Rees has offered no trade union consultation to the relevant culture unions, whilst simultaneously the Mayor’s office have sidelined the Culture Board, a body the Mayor created, which is the only consultative culture body that exists in the city.

‘These less then transparent delays and possible cuts will disproportionately impact working class creative workers, and those from minority and oppressed groups. It will have social and cultural implications for all the large Arts organisations in the city and smaller one off artistic projects that work in local communities, from parent and baby groups and schools, to festivals and live events. Leaving access to the arts only to those who can afford it.’

The protest will take place on Thursday 06 June 2023 at 10.30am
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