On September 5th, Birmingham City Council issued a section 114 notice, signifying that the council’s forecast income is insufficient to meet its projected expenditure for the next year. This has spurred speculation about the Financial Recovery Plan and its potential impact on the cultural sector. Following conversations with cultural professionals and organisations around the City, and considering messaging from the council, Culture Central – of which Ex Cathedra is a founder member – has developed a collective statement to organisations, workforce, communities, stakeholders and supporters.
Birmingham and the West Midlands can be proud of its rich, vibrant and resilient arts and culture sector. We, the organisations and individuals that create and present this offer, are continuing to welcome audiences, work with communities, and support artists in Birmingham, the West Midlands, the UK and internationally.
The arts and cultural sector in Birmingham has proven its stability. In 2010, Birmingham City Council’s arts investment stood at £9.7 million, it is currently £2.9 million a year; in the same timeframe the council’s museums grant has decreased by a third. Since 2010 we have worked hard to secure additional investment and to employ innovative business models. This is in partnership with Birmingham City Council and others including Arts Council England, the West Midlands Combined Authority, trusts, foundations, national lottery funders, higher education institutions and the private sector.
Birmingham City Council’s continued support and relationship with the complex ecology of organisations, artists and cultural assets in Birmingham is invaluable, and crucial to the region’s future growth. We look forward to working with Birmingham City Council, incoming commissioners, and wider stakeholders to ensure that the venues, artists, communities, major events and festivals of Birmingham continue to contribute to the vibrant cultural and economic life of the city and region.
Ex Cathedra, Culture Central, its members and affiliates