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Jobs at risk in Arts Council Brighton shake-up
The Arts Council in Brighton faces massive cutbacks after the organisation announced plans to lay off staff and sell offices.
Up to 22 jobs could go and the organisation’s Church Street office is under threat as bosses struggle to slash administration costs by 50%.
A total of 58 people, including 30 in Brighton, work for the Arts Council to cover the south east, outside of London.
By next summer just 36 staff will do the same job.
Brighton had been the headquarters for the Arts Council in the region but operations in the city are being scaled back.
Arts Council bosses told The Argus they will have to do “more with less” but promised “to do it well”.
However, there are fears that the cuts will have an impact on the local arts scene.
Jon Barrenechea, the general manager at the Duke of York’s, said the Arts Council’s presence in Brighton helped to give the city a creative edge over rivals.
He said: “It has helped make Brighton a fantastic place for the arts.
“It is worrying.”
Julian Caddy, the director of Brighton Fringe, described the organisation as “vital” for the cultural sector but said that cuts were inevitable.
He added: “When faced with the decision to fund schools and hospitals or the arts there is only going to be one decision.
“The changes underline the importance of artists standing on their own two feet. Some of the best pieces of art have come from difficult times.”
Andrew Comben, the chief executive of the Brighton Dome and Festival, said he was confident the Arts Council would continue to be an ambassador of “artistic and cultural expertise”.
The cuts were announced in response to the government’s call for administration costs to be slashed by 50%.
A restructure will see overall staffing levels fall from more than 550 to 442, four executive directors will go and property costs will be halved.
The Argus understands that a decision on how many Brighton staff could lose their job has not yet been decided.
Sally Abbott, from the Arts Council, said: “We’ll be changing the way we organise ourselves across the country to ensure that, as a smaller organisation, we can work more efficiently.”
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