Bristol Theatre News

Theatre Organisations have ‘lost hope’ over Bristol funding delays

Arts organisations came together this week, to protest catastrophic delays in funding from Bristol City Council, putting the future of theatre in Bristol at risk.

The demonstration, led by Equity, protested delays in decisions as well as a lack of transparency around decisions made.

The outcome of applications for council arts funding was expected last October, but organisations were made to wait until June this year. This month, an email was then sent out telling applicants that any funding would only be confirmed in March 2024 – right before the next year’s funding window opens again.

It has led to uncertainty around the future of some companies in Bristol, who having struggled through the impact of Covid 19 closure are now unable to confirm work or contracts in the coming months.

Dragonbird Theatre, who work in early years and out of childrens centres, were one of the organisations on College Green yesterday. They told those gathered outside of City Hall that before Covid, they would sell out all of their sessions in communities around Bristol. But, that since the pandemic, ticket sales had dipped to a third, meaning they needed to rely on council funding to keep their early years community theatre going.

Lotte Nørgaard said: “To not hear and to keep being fobbed off as to when we will hear, the reality of that is that we have lost hope.”

Nørgaard said the company had no idea if there would be work for their staff in September and they just wanted the council to just tell them if their funding bid had been successful or not.

For more information: https://www.megaphone.org.uk/petitions/mayor-marvin-rees-restore-our-arts-funding

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