Published on February 11th, 2016 | by Niall Norbury0
South Street set to receive £500,000 from Arts Council
Arts Council England has confirmed that South Street has been successful in its bid for funding to repair and improve the arts centre.
South Street Arts Centre is set to receive £499,999 from Arts Council England to upgrade, refurbish and reconfigure the venue to resolve on-going maintenance issues, increase the venue’s efficiency and enhance facilities for both artists and audiences for the future. The work will also enable South Street to better meet demand for hires, supporting increased income.
The funding will help with a number of improvements to the building including improved accessibility, creation of permanent staging in the main hall, construction of a new bar and redecoration of the entire ground floor.
The future of South Street Arts Centre remains uncertain as it could be closed due to budget cuts from Reading Borough Council. The threat of closure prompted an outcry from Reading’s arts community with over 8,000 people signing a petition to save South Street from closure.
A decision about the future of the building had been deferred by Reading Borough Council until the results of the Arts Council Bid were known.
A statement from Reading Borough Council says: We welcome today’s announcement from the Arts Council that Reading Borough Council has been successful in its bid for funding for the refurbishment and upgrade of South Street Arts Centre.
“As is widely known, the future of South Street Arts Centre is one is one of many budget savings the Council is having to consider as a result of severe and unprecedented Government cuts in funding. The budget gap in Reading now stands at £51 million over the next 3 years. This is in addition to £65 million in savings already made since 2011.
“The news that the Council’s bid has been successful will obviously now be taken into consideration in future budget discussions.