ARTRIX has been told it must provide evidence to show it benefits the people of Bromsgrove before it is given any more funding.
Bromsgrove District Council’s Cabinet approved a proposal to give the School Drive venue £60,000 each year for the next three years, totalling £180,000, at a meeting on Wednesday (January 4).
However, members decided to ring-fence the money until they received additional information from Artrix which clearly listed how it benefited Bromsgrove residents.
Once this happens the money will be released if it is agreed it is in the interest of Bromsgrove residents.
The new funding agreement replaces the previous one which ran for the arts centre’s first ten years, giving the venue £120,000-a-year.
The final decision on it will be made at the next full council meeting.
During Wednesday’s meeting, concerns were raised regarding the amount being given to Artrix as it was half the annual amount it was given over the last decade.
Many warned the reduction could lead to increases in ticket prices, resulting in less visitors.
Fears were also voiced over the charges for hiring the theatre going up meaning organisations may be forced to use church halls instead and leading to schools not being able to afford to perform there.
Ros Robins, Interim Director of Artrix, said they really appreciated the council’s generous support over the last ten years but were disappointed with the level of funding being reduced to £60,000.
“Artrix is however committed to delivering an exciting and ambitious programme of arts activities for the people of Bromsgrove and beyond and will be looking to develop new sources of income to support this programme.” she added.
Coun Mike Webb said the ten year agreement had finished and they had no contractual obligation to continue it but they did value what the arts centre did.
“We needed to ensure we were being prudent with the public’s money and after looking through all the options we decided to give them £180,000 over the next three years, over and above the original agreement.
“We love Artrix, we love what they do, they are an important part of Bromsgrove but we have a duty of care for the public’s purse.”
Coun Luke Mallett said the latest move by the council’s Conservative cabinet to put a question mark over the remaining £60,000 of funding for the Artrix was clearly unhelpful.
He added the council must provide assurance to Artrix as soon as possible on what funding was available and do what was needed to ensure the centre’s future.
“Locally, there is already clear concern already about the proposed cuts to funding and the impact these will have on the viability longer term of the Artrix.