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Arts Services In Dorset To Be Run By A CIC

Quay Theatre Arts

(Updated 11:32am 8th January 2015)

10:59am 8th January 2015

Radical plans could see better funding for arts services in Dorset despite savage government cuts.

Members of Dorset County Council are creating a Community Interest Company.

The CIC would be able to get funding from the National Lottery as well as private investors to support the arts.

Cllr Colin Jamieson, Cabinet member for Community Services, said: "The county council is pleased to be supporting the arts development team to move to a new employee owned company.  The aim of the CIC is to work in a more creative way, and take advantage of funding opportunities not open to local authorities."

"In times of severe austerity measures, there is much less money available, and we face tough choices about what services we can provide. Creating an independent arts company will help to protect the future of the services in Dorset."

The CIC, or the Arts Development Company as it will be known, will be an independent employee owned company, supported by the county council.   

The Council claims the move will open up doors for new income streams, including funding from the National Lottery as well as private investment and charitable giving and create an environment for arts services to develop and flourish in the future.

Dorset County Council has also agreed to refurbish the Little Keep building up to a total of £300,000 to provide a base for the Arts Development Company that can also serve as a hub for a wide range of arts organisations.  

Laura Mulhern is the Creative Director of South West Artworks, she told Wessex FM: "We are a local contemporary arts agency that helps to promote emerging talent from the region and see this as a welcome development- the more arts services that are available to serve the local thriving arts scene the better. Too often there are opportunities more widely available for external or more high profile artists-or organisation that at rely wholly on public funding- which isn't sustainable- perhaps service this can help share our mission in boosting the arts community as well as our local economy in the long term. The creative industry is one of the few growing sectors in the uk - it's about time it is recognised more widely for it's positive social and economic impact."


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