We are very concerned that Birmingham City Council is currently looking to make further cuts to the level of grant support it provides to major arts and cultural organisations as well as community arts provision in our city. The proposed cuts will reduce BCC’s total arts budget by one-third – from £3m down to £2m. This comes on top of major funding reductions our arts and cultural organisations have already had to absorb in recent years. The proposed cuts will significantly affect the functioning and sustainability of organisations such as Birmingham Repertory Theatre, CBSO, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Symphony Hall and Town Hall, Sampad, Midlands Arts Centre, and Ikon Gallery. A strong cultural offer is important for Birmingham – for the well-being of our citizens and not least our young people; for attracting inward investment and our city economy. Looking ahead, a strong cultural offer must surely be part of the city successfully showcasing itself during the staging of the Commonwealth Games in 2022 and beyond.

Arts and cultural organisations across the city are coming together to campaign against these proposed cuts. Birmingham Civic Society supports this campaign and we encourage all of our members to do the same. There is a public consultation event being held at the Council House at 6pm on Wednesday 19 December. If you would like to attend, you need to book your place using this link. We will provide further updates on our participation in this campaign and welcome our members views and ideas.