Quay Arts Funding Cut By Arts Council

Arts council funding cut from Quay Arts from 2012

Surprising news reaches us that the Arts Council will be removing their annual grant to Quay Arts Centre from April 2012.

Jo CowanThe £80,000 grant goes some way to helping fund the fantastic work of the Island’s only Arts Council Regularly Funded Organisation (RFO) which includes exhibitions to promote Island talent, outreach education programmes with young people and a huge variety of workshops and courses.

Director of the centre, Jo Cowan told VB, “We are very disappointed in not being successful in our National Portfolio application – although we scored positively on all areas of assessment in stage 2 of the process the Arts Council decided ‘that other organisations fitted better into the national picture’.

“Funding for this financial year, however, is secure allowing us the time to take stock and review our position and working in the creative industries means that we are well positioned to respond to this significant challenge in an innovative way. Now more than ever we need the support of those who value the arts on the Island.”

Dame Liz Forgan, Chair of Arts Council England, said: “This is about a resilient future for the arts in England. We have taken the brave path of strategic choices not salami slices which has meant some painful decisions, and it is with great regret that we have had to cease funding some good organisations.

“‘But we will still be supporting excellence, exceptional talent and successful risk-taking; helping organisations to get their great work out far and wide; backing strong leadership and cultural entrepreneurialism; supporting resilient organisations that can thrive as well as survive; and encouraging work that really enthuses children and young people – because that’s where it all begins.”

Wednesday, 30th March, 2011 3:02pm


ShortURL: http://wig.ht/quayartsfunding

Filed under: Government, Isle of Wight News, Newport, The Arts

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Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.


  1. Shocking news – cutting funds to the one arts centre on the island just seems f**king irresponsible and stupid. Well done Arts Council, have a biscuit.

    • Steve & Jane

      30.Mar.2011 4:13pm

      Who do you think you are, using language like that and expecting to get away with it, (unless you are council leader Pugh)?
      Don’t you realise that sacrifices have to be made (unless you are a Banker, or a tax avoider, or an IW council CX/treasurer/PFI roads consultant/ legal advisor)?

      • Ben James

        30.Mar.2011 9:03pm

        Very bad news for the Isle of Wight, just obscene. The only Arts Centre on the Island that provides a large programme of national and international artists in various meduims for the benefit of audiences who wouldn’t otherwise see that work. The Quay is not perfect and does require improvements in certain areas but it would’ve been more productive to have given the Quay funding with caveats to improve. Unfortunately they’ve fallen short, but I think even more devastatingly the company whom have been successful are utterly out of sync with art here on the Island, and indeed nationally, providing little in the way of variety accross the board, one look at their website shows this. In fairness they have a new website under construction so perhaps we’ll learn more, but in these times it seems idiotic and irresponsible to pretty much condemn the Quay and to attempt to raise a new centre elsewhere. When you hear that they’re associated with the council too, it just smells wrong. Sad that it causes bad blood towards a company who are likely to be nice people, but it would take a really strong argument to say that the arts council have got this right. A disgraceful decision. Bad bad news for artists, and art enthusiasts on the Island. I would suggest we get behind the Quay now and hope to preserve it for three years, so that when the decision comes round again it’ll be the right one.

        • Right on Ben! Can I extend an invitation to you to join our first meeting of the Cultural (Arts/Entertainment etc) pressure group/sub group of the Alliance against the Cuts on the Island. Please come and join us as you are clearly a knowledgeable and informed IOW person! We plan to do an Anti-cuts review in October (would be nice if we could do it at Quay Arts) and hopefully make some profits for them! There are a large number of Islanders who are Anti-Cuts: over 200 went up to London to walk the Streets of London (We showed “them something to make them change their minds!” but, of course the ConDems ain’t litening to anybody who doesn’t earn a six figure salary+). The Culture Group is meeting at the pub (The Railway something or other – I’m from Shanklin so don’t know about all Newports pubs!, but its right near Quay Arts on Monday at 5.00! The full Anti Cuts Group meet on the 3rd Thursday of each month at Riverside, starting at 7.00. We welcome all Islanders to attend who are Anti Cuts! No voting/beaurocracy on who can attend: as long as you are Islanders and Anti Cuts, you will be very welcome! PLEASE COME AND JOIN US! That invite goes to anybody reading this too, of course!

  2. Our council leaders think art is joining the dots and painting by numbers.

  3. Think I read somewhere this Government has made it compulsory to apply for funding for arts you have to be signed up to ‘the big society’ in your bid or you’re out. Soon all those affluent bankers etc. will be passing on the crumbs of their banquets to the arts and other services that are going down the pan just so they can be lauded by the media as saviours and philanthropists. No doubt they’ll be commissioning artists to make and erect statues to them. Roll back the 1900s.

  4. IWCP website says The New Carnival Company have been awarded £80,000 on the Isle of Wight. Anyone heard of them? can’t find them on google or charities commission??

  5. Mike Judge

    30.Mar.2011 6:42pm

    Depressingly predictable news. Awarding the same sum to the carnival is equally depressing. Surely carnival’s could manage without Arts funding?

  6. Was at a conference today, general message seemed to be, you’ve got to work out where you can make money from your art to survive. So innovation is the key here.

  7. Tony Green

    31.Mar.2011 2:08am

    Heard some guy on the news saying that the Arts Council were looking to reward the “radical” and ditch the “dull”
    Not sure how radical Quay Arts has to be in the future to secure funding, hope they get it next time round.

    • This is so sad. The Quay provides a broad variety of arts events and activiies and is a wonderful resource for the Island, very inclusive and wide in its scope. As a family we have gained so much over the years from having this great place on the Island and visitors always say how much they enjoy it too. The Arts Council seem to be going for ‘flavour of the month’ over tried and tested solid provision – not just here as listening to R4 yesterday similar decisions were affecting other areas as well. In this tick box society there are measures for some kinds of ‘learning’ but no way of tickboxing the depth and richness of growing though an involvement in the arts that does not include ‘measurable outcomes’. It is the Libraries all over again – a lack of value for somnething tried and tested that works and destruction of wonderful services.

      • Well done Dale, your term ‘inclusive’ is what is at forefront of the quay’s priorities. As an organisation it should be celebrated for its sensitivity towards not alienating audiences and delivering an exceptionally wide range of arts in all areas with what was already very little funding from ACE in comparison to well funded orgs such as Aspex, carnival centre etc etc who in terms of activity deliver far less and to smaller audiences, no disrespect to either.

  8. Very disappointing. The cuts reflect this government’s attitude to the arts, as typified in the removal of public funding for humanities tuition in higher education, the absence of arts subjects in the English Baccalureate and the cuts to the nation’s libraries. Our country’s rich cutural heritage is being ruined by these Philistines who only care about making a profit.

  9. Sandown Sally

    31.Mar.2011 12:10pm

    I think there is scope to make more revenue from the cafe. I know it does OK, but I think the range of food has declined in the past year, and the cakes can be a little dry too. Improve please Quay Arts cafe – and you’ll make more.

  10. Victor Meldrew

    31.Mar.2011 1:59pm

    Miserable news that it is, it must be seen in context. £80,000 is less that 10% of income last year and Quay Arts does have 12 months grace and reserves of over £700,000 to reposition itself.

    The leadership, from reading the accounts, would appear to have made efforts in recent years to reduce its reliance on ACE funding, so well done them.

    • I agree with previous comment in that the Quay has done well in having as wide a funding base as it can as it would have been a much worse situation had it not done so. However, I suspect ACE support can give confidence to other funders and it is therefore possible that lack of that support could have implications in the future.
      I realise I missed out ‘innovative’ in my earlier comment. the arts centre may be established and proven but it is forward looking and imaginative too!

  11. Have read with interest the comments and am delighted to see the support for the cultural provision on the Island. While there is, of course, room for improvement it is heartening to see that Quay’s diverse offer and aspiration for inclusiveness are understood and appreciated. The positive comments and messages of support we have received are the silver lining of this deeply disappointing and worrying news.

    Had to respond to Victor’s comments; yes context is everything and turnover percentages are misleading. The entirety of the grant funding goes to our artistic programme – without which we are a café, a lovely café at that but, not a centre of artistic and cultural provision – and as much as £700,000 in reserves would be a wonderful cushion this figure is wildly inaccurate and includes the building and liabilities – the true unrestricted reserves would not even cover a year of the cut.

    As pointed out by D innovation is indeed the way forward, that and lots of support, for which we are enormously grateful.

  12. The idea of the rulers of the Roman Empire was that if they provided “bread and circuses” for the hoi poloi, then the peasants would forget what a miserable existence they had and wouldn’t revolt. Hence the provision of funding for carnivals makes perfect sense.

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