Queen’s Theatre to lose �20,000 as part of spending cuts

THE ARTISTIC Director of the Queen’s Theatre has hit out against the Government’s spending cuts after it was announced that the theatre will lose about �20,000 of funding next year.

Bob Carlton was told last week as part of the Government’s Spending Review that the Arts Council has been forced to slash its funding for the theatre in Billet Lane, Hornchurch.

Bob said: “We are dismayed with the Government’s short-sighted raft of spending cuts to the lucrative arts industry, from which the country reaps huge rewards despite relatively little investment.

“And because the grant we already receive is proportionally small, the loss of income will be strongly felt.”

The staff fear that the 6.9% slash in their funding could force them to have to reduce the number of actors in their shows and most importantly cut down on their community work which could see an end to their projects going into schools.

They also argue that the Queen’s like many theatres is getting the raw end of the deal because as a charity they already get a small amount from the Arts Council and they argue that through their ticket prices they also help to generate a lot of income.

The theatre’s administrative director, Thom Stanbury said: “I think that the benefits that we give out go beyond just simply having a nice theatre.

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“We are one of the few ways that people can come together and do things at the same time and I think that is why our community events are so popular.”

A month ago, the staff at the theatre were bracing themselves to find out the results of the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review.

The staff at the theatre now claim that their cuts could have been worse but are still worrying about the future.

Thom said: “The funds that we get from the Arts Council are so small that it is almost not worth cutting but we are lucky because Havering Council have always been our main funders and they are ahead of the game because they will not be cutting our funds.”