The Council is proposing to cut its funding to all arts organisations by 100% by 2015/16 as a measure to save £90m, in response to cuts imposed by the Coalition government. Our grant from the Council is 13% of our income. That's the equivalent to the funds we spent on our learning and outreach work. It is proposed that the cuts are phased over 2 years, to give us time plan the future direction of our work and develop our income generation strategies.
We understand that the Council is faced with hard decisions. Newcastle City Council, along with Arts Council England, helped to fund the building of Seven Stories and both have been regular funders ever since we opened. We want to work with them to find solutions that ensure that Seven Stories continues to thrive and make a unique contribution to our childhood culture in Britain, the North East and the City of Newcastle.
The founding of a brand new organisation to save, share and celebrate our literary inheritance for children in 1996 took vision and courage. Since we opened in 2005 over 1¼m people have enjoyed a Seven Stories experience. In just 7 years we have gained National status. This has taken dedication, hard work and belief. We know it won’t be easy, but we will build on these strengths.
Kate Edwards, Chief Executive.