Arts grants take a hit

SAVINGS of £900,000 were earmarked this week from the council’s sports, culture, events and city centre management budget of £20m.

The authority warned that if Museums Sheffield’s bid to the Arts Council was unsuccessful, “then budget reductions may be required but these are not expected to result in venue closures”.

Other proposals include a 10% cut in grant to Sheffield Theatres (£58,000 for 2012/13) and Site Gallery (£3,000) next year but no change for the Showroom Cinema next financial year to help them with external funding bids.

Grants totalling £19,000 to four of the city’s art organisations – Music in the Round, Forced Entertainment, Danceworks and DECAT – are proposed to end.

A statement from Sheffield Theatres said: “Whilst any cut is regrettable and will have an effect on our work, we also understand the part we have to play in supporting the city in meeting the financial challenge.”

Deborah Chadbourn, Executive Director of Music in the Round, said: “We were disappointed to hear that we may lose our funding from Sheffield City Council to run Music Box workshops which are a very important part of our music education programme for very young children in Sheffield and extremely popular with parents, carers and teachers throughout the city.

“This loss of funding will make a real difference to us but we’re doing all we can to look for other funding to continue to deliver this unique service that introduces children to music-making in their early years.”

Sheffield Visual Arts Group, formed when there was a threat of closing the Graves Art Gallery, plans to call a public meeting in March to launch a citywide campaign to secure all necessary funding for the galleries.

Grants to Chapeltown and Upperthorpe swimming pools, which are run by trusts, are due to be cut by 10%.