THE director of a renowned art gallery has admitted cuts could force the venue to close.

Fabrica, in Duke Street, Brighton, is fighting for survival after its regular grant of £20,000 from Brighton and Hove City Council was stopped.

Liz Whitehead, who co-founded Fabrica with four other artists 22 years ago, said the closure would be a “massive loss” for the city’s culture scene.

A crowd-funding scheme will be launched on Monday in an attempt to make up the deficit.

“If we don’t close this gap by the end of March we will be forced to make further cuts,” said Ms Whitehead.

“We may even have to shut our doors.

“As Brighton and Hove’s foremost centre for contemporary visual art, this would be a massive loss.”

Fabrica has already implemented cost-cutting measures, including making a member of staff redundant and reducing Ms Whitehead’s wage by 25 per cent.

The director added that austerity had significantly hampered the venue over the last year.

“In previous years a £20,000 gap would not have been such a big deal,” she said.

“But like many other arts organisations we have really felt the impact of austerity on our fundraising over the past year.

“It has become so much more competitive and fewer of our bids have been successful.”

Fabrica has hosted exhibitions by a number of celebrated artists over its lifespan including Brian Eno, Anish Kapoor and Ipek Duben. While Ms Whitehead vowed to keep putting on such displays should the venue survive, she said the gallery’s community events – often free of charge – may suffer.

She said: “If our appeal is unsuccessful we will be forced to cut our programmes and we might lose some of the activities that people can access for free of at low cost.

“This really saddens me because Fabrica is all about reducing barriers to contemporary art – and, if you’re on a low income, cost is a major barrier.”

Mick Watson, marketing manager at Fabrica, said he believed the at-risk gallery would live to see another day.

“The worst-case scenario is that Fabrica will close,” he said.

“Hand on heart, I hope that won’t happen and don’t think it will.

“It’s not out of the question though.”

The website page for Fabrica’s crowd-funding scheme will be unveiled next week.