Relief as Newham is spared Arts Council funding cuts

Arts organisations across Newham have escaped sweeping budget cuts and secured increases in funding.

The Theatre Royal Stratford East, Stratford Circus and East London Dance have all been promised more cash from 2012 by the Arts Council.

Stratford Circus is in line for a boost of more than 450 per cent — the largest increase awarded to any artistic programme in England.

The rise is in stark contrast to the national picture, as the Arts Council looks to cut �100 million from its budget. More than 600 groups had their applications turned down as the council passed on cuts made by the government in last year’s spending review.

Stratford Circus received �56,000 this year and this will increase to �314,879 in 2014/15 — around �90,000 more than the �225,000 bosses applied for.Assessors said the performing arts venue, in Theatre Square, “has become a leading centre for the development of new theatre and dance”.

Stratford Circus director Clare Connor said: “We are thrilled with the arts council’s historic decision to invest in east London, the Stratford cultural quarter and Stratford Circus in particular.”

Meanwhile, The Theatre Royal will see an 11 per cent increase over the next three years, with its funding rising from �896,000 this year to �997,118 in 2014/15.

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The Arts Council praised the centre as a “cultural flagship”, but said they were unable to provide the �1.5m bosses had applied for. East London Dance, based at Stratford Circus, gets a 22 percent rise.

Artistic director Kiki Gale said: “This decision is a credit to the partnerships we’ve been able to establish in Stratford and beyond and we would like to thank all the artists, participants and partners who have worked with us to create a vibrant dancing community across east London.”