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Friday, 17 May 2019

The Rose Theatre says Kingston Council’s decision to withdraw funding puts its future in doubt.

Bosses say it “brings a far greater financial benefit to the borough than the comparatively small funding it receives.”

Kingston has decided to withdraw funding after 11 years because it says it needs to “prioritise” its finances.

The authority will continue with its cash grants for the next three years.

Statement from Cllr Liz Green, Leader of the Council

"We remain committed to seeing the Rose Theatre thrive whilst balancing the need to be financially prudent to match our reduced income and look forward to working with the current management team and trustees to achieve this aim.

The Liberal Democrats were proud to help set up the Rose Theatre over 10 years ago. A new five year funding deal was agreed with the council in 2015, and since then over £1.6 million funding for the Rose will have been provided by the council by March 2020.

As a financially responsible council, who have seen £66 million of funding from central government cut since 2010 and now receive zero, we, of course, have a duty to look at every aspect of our spending to ensure value for money.

At the same time as funding cuts, we have seen a marked increase in the need for adult and children's social care services.

It is never easy to prioritise one area of spending over another and any reduction in funding we provide to the Rose Theatre would be a particularly difficult decision.

In the last 5 years Kingston Council has provided funding of over £1.6 million
The council additionally wrote off outstanding debt of £1.7 million
The council reduced the theatre’s rent from £150,000 to £35,000 in 2015
Funding will continue at its current rate (£265,000 per year) until at least 2020
The theatre receives £30,000 discretionary business rate relief, which is proposed to continue
Currently the council also uses and pays for additional services, and this is proposed to continue
Current proposals are to taper this funding to £177,000 in 2020/21 then £88,000 in 2021/22, falling to zero thereafter
These cuts represent a cut to the theatre budget of 7.5% compared with a cut to the council’s budget of over 35% since 2010
No final decisions will be taken by the council until February next year."
posted by Radio Jackie News Team @ 3:30 pm  

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