Friday 4 February 2011

The Arts Big Freeze Is Coming

It has been flagged sporadically in the media but has not yet emerged as a major story. Whether it will or not will depend on the other stories of the day or week, much as other things have taken second place this week because of events in Egypt.

The Arts Council is set to announce its new arrangements. All the beneficiaries of the past have had their applications called in and in the next few days will learn who is either for the chop or to have its grants substantially reduced.

There is talk of 30% overall and only hints as to who will be taking the big hits or who will go to the wall. It is not going to be a happy business.

In the meantime with middling incomes being squeezed, travel costs rocketing and other pressures there is a real risk of the market diminishing sharply in any case as well as the loss of income.

As a couple who have done a lot of attending events and shows in the past we have already had to reduce our interests. It is not as though other options are becoming more competitive in price. Turning up at some attractions and tourist places these days brings a wince to the wallet.

It looks as though the Arts sector as well as the Heritage sector are both going to have to contract sharply in the coming years. Just at the time when we have been creating so many University courses to train up large numbers.

Also, what happens to the tourist industry, much touted as the answer to many of our economic problems? Don’t’ bank on it. There is too much that can go wrong there. In any case, London is no longer a welcoming place and travel around the UK increasingly a wearing experience

So what do you ask a RADA graduate for? A Big Mac with feeling?

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