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Saturday, 01 November 2014

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Cash grant dismay for Millom volunteer theatre group

A DECISION to slash £10,000 of annual funding from a volunteer run theatre group in Millom was described as “utterly disgusting” by its director.

Moore Arts: Millom, based in The Beggar’s Theatre in Market Square, has lost a fifth of its budget after Copeland Borough Council scrapped all spending on community arts projects.

The group had been recognised as a regularly funded organisation, but lost that status as part of the council’s efforts to slash its budget by a third.

Jakki Moore, artistic director and founder of Moore Arts, said the decision was a blow.

“I think it’s utterly disgusting. I know it’s not totally down to Copeland Borough Council because they have had to make the cuts since this government came into office, but I feel that other boroughs get more support and that we have had to work harder to involve Millom,” she added.

Moore Arts was founded in 2005 after the borough council asked Ms Moore to begin a youth theatre group in Millom.

The organisation expanded as it became more popular, and Ms Moore says at one point they accounted for one third of the council’s arts output, as designated in its Service Level Agreement.

“As we have grown we have relied on the council money less, but it was guaranteed money that we could start from,” she said. After the group was also denied a grant from the Copeland Community Fund, Ms Moore says she is hoping private investors will allow them to continue to expand.

Ms Moore says eight regular youth theatre groups meet at Beggar’s Theatre and the future of the theatre was still secure.

She said: “Parents come up to me and say how they have seen a change in their children since they started coming to our groups. As long as people want us we will be here.”

Beggar’s Theatre has recently played host to an array of big name comedians including Ed Byrne, Patrick Monahan and Shazia Mirza, which Ms Moore described as “great nights”.

A spokeswoman from the borough council confirmed that all grants to community arts organisations had ceased.

Have your say

Jane talks about Tory cuts but chooses to conveniently leave out the reason for the cuts, once again Labour has bankrupted the country with their 'something for nothing'socialist policies, i admire her support for Millom theatre but lets not distort the facts to score political points.

Posted by William Wooleyback on 18 April 2013 at 21:28

This story demonstrates the very real consequence of the Tory Government cuts - loss or reduction of facilities in our communities. I would rather my taxes went to brilliant projects like the Beggars Theatre which does so much to enhance the cultural and spiritual lives of people in Millom and surrounding areas, than pay for the funeral of a former prime minister who was totally against state funding.

Posted by Jane on 11 April 2013 at 14:09

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