Newcastle Culture Investment Fund Gives £1.4m to Arts Groups

A Newcastle Culture Investment Fund poster Photo via: Community Foundation

England’s Newcastle Culture Investment Fund, set up last year in the wake of Newcastle City Council’s decision to axe arts funding, has raised £1.8 million. £1.42 million has been allocated in the first round of grants, and will be split between 17 northern arts groups, while the rest is available for subsequent years, BBC News reports.

After the cuts were announced, some celebrities, including musicians Sting and Mark Knopfler, were very vocal about their disapproval. Council leader Nick Forbes responded by inviting private donors to contribute, saying it was an opportunity to “put their money where their mouth is.”

But the city council is the only contributor so far. Newcastle City Council found £1.8 million for the new fund from various sources including government money earmarked for public health, according to the Journal.

The Newcastle Culture Investment Fund chief executive, Rob Williamson, told BBC News that: “Our intention was always to complete the first round of grant-making with the council’s initial commitment, […] before considering plans for extending the fund through philanthropic gifts. Therefore the Community Foundation has not so far made approaches for further support.”

The recipients of the first round of grants include: Seven Stories, the National Centre for Children’s Books (£200,000 over the next three years), Northern Stage (£150,000), and the Great North Museum (£120,000). Other funding recipients are: the North East Circus Development Trust (£90,000), Twisting Ducks Theatre Company (£118,000), Star and Shadow Cinema (£103,000), Helix Arts (£105,000), and New Writing North (£90,000).

The Theatre Royal in Newcastle is the most high-profile venue that hasn’t received a grant.

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