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Friday, 17 May 2019

Kingston Council has confirmed it will no longer fund the Rose Theatre.


The authority has invested over £7 million since it was founded a decade ago.

A spokesman says it will still be a major supporter, providing £531,000 over the next three years.

It’s putting the decision down to a cut in budgets and a need to prioritise how money is spent.

The council says it has also always been clear that The Rose should eventually become self – sufficient.

The Rose says it will issue a statement in due course.

Kingston's statement in full is below;

"The council has been a major supporter of the Rose Theatre since it was founded just over 10 years ago and has invested over £7.5m in the theatre during this time. We will continue to be a major supporter of the Rose in future and will provide £531k of funding over the next 3 years, including £265k for this financial year.

“At a time when our budgets have been significantly cut, we need to prioritise how we spend the money available to us. This means making some tough decisions to ensure we can continue to provide vital social care services for children and adults as well as the borough's most vulnerable residents and universal services such as waste collection and street cleaning.

“We have been clear in our desire to see the Rose Theatre thrive as it moves towards a sustainable operating model, with gradually reducing levels of subsidy by the council. This intention was set out in a report to the council’s Policy & Resources Committee back in April 2015.

“We are proud of our diverse arts and culture offer in Kingston and want to work with the Rose Theatre and all those involved in running and funding it, to discuss all possibilities and opportunities.”

The Rose officially opened in January 2008 with "Uncle Vanya" by Anton Chekhov, with Sir Peter Hall directing.

Hall had also directed an "in the raw" production of "As You Like It" within the shell of the uncompleted building in December 2004.

Statement from The Rose;

"Rose Theatre Kingston has been vital to the community it serves throughout its 11-year life.

The support from the Royal Borough of Kingston allows young people across the borough to take part in and experience world class theatre.

Total withdrawal of council funds would place great uncertainty around the future of these and other programmes from which the people of Kingston benefit directly.

The theatre, in its current guise, brings a far greater financial benefit to the borough than the comparatively small funding it receives, and the impact of its removal would be felt far beyond the local community."
posted by Radio Jackie News Team @ 11:00 am  

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