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Equity Responds to Proposed Arts Cuts in Bristol

A post from Equity on the current funding cuts proposed in Bristol and Bath Janaury 2017

Bristol City Council is on the brink of culturally vandalising their community by drastically cutting their arts budgets in a move that makes no economic sense.

Stephen Spence, Equity’s Deputy for the General Secretary, said: “This amounts to cultural vandalism as the economic case for arts cuts simply does not make sense. Every pound invested in the arts generates two to seven pounds in return. This was understood at a national level when George Osborne said that cutting the arts was a ‘false economy’ – why can’t local councillors understand this?”

Actor Timothy West, who played King Lear at the Bristol Old Vic in 2016, said:

“The cities of Bath and Bristol have been proudly associated with producing world-class theatre for well over two centuries. These proposed savage cuts to their arts funding are an unforgivable assault on the social and cultural life for which both cities are justly valued.”

Actor Tony Robinson, who has lived and worked in the South West area for many years, said:

“Our vibrant and internationally respected arts not only makes Bristol and Bath exciting places to live in but also encourage tens of thousands of people to visit our twin cities every year, and attract huge amounts of further investment. No one will win from this short-sighted strategy!”

Lynda Rooke, a Bristol-based actress who is part of Equity’s campaign against cuts in the South West added: “These cuts will lead to less locally-made productions and therefore fewer opportunities for local people to watch or work in theatre. We are desperate that the South West does not become a place where we simply receive shows created elsewhere - we need local voices to be heard.”

Bristol will make its final decision on 21 February and Equity is urging its members to contact local MPs and Councillors to tell them to stop these senseless cuts.

We are urging everyone but in particular those who live within the BS postcode area to write to their local Councillors and MP’s to oppose these savage and illogical cuts.

Find out who your MP is at

Contact details for all MPs can be found at‐lords‐and‐offices/mps/

Find Your Bristol Councillor via this link:

The union will also be taking part in the march against Bristol cuts on 21 February.



For the value of arts to the national economy see: 

For more information about Equity's Stop Arts Cuts Campaign


For further information you can contact the Bristol branch at:


FOLLOW US ON TWITTER – @equity_bs_west




or contact Equity's Regional Organiser Simon Curtis on

02920 397971 or 07798 750254



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