Tower Hamlets arts groups face uncertain future from 2012

GALLERIES and arts groups in the East End could lose their Arts Council England funding in 2012 as the national body faces a 30 per cent cut over four years from 2011.

A cut of nearly seven per cent in funding has been passed on to organisations like the Rich Mix Centre in Bethnal Green Road, the Whitechapel Gallery and the Chisenhale Gallery in Chisenhale Road for 2011-12.

But those regularly funded organisations now need to apply for funding for April 2012 onwards by January 24 next year.

Bow’s Chisenhale Gallery will receive �144,000 in Arts Council funding in 2011-12, a cut of �11,000 from this year.

Gallery manager Isabelle Hancock, 28, said: “Some organisations could completely lose their funding, others could get more than they currently get.

“We know that we have to be realistic and be prepared to look for other funding and we’ve been told you can’t be 100 per cent reliant on funding from the Arts Council.”

The Rich Mix will see a �48,339 drop in funding, to �652,225, over the next financial year.

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Jane Earl, interim director of the Rich Mix, said: “For our part we are committed to protecting the arts and the cultural programme we deliver.”

The Whitechapel Gallery receives nearly a third of its yearly one-and -a-quarter million pound funding from the Arts Council but that will drop by �86,811 in the following financial year.

It is also unclear if Tower Hamlets council will still provide contributions to the gallery’s education programme, working with local primary and secondary schools.

The council was unavailable to confirm what cuts could be made.

East End arts institutions, including the Rich Mix, the Chisenhale Gallery, Cardboard Citizens in Hanbury Street and Spitalfields Music in Brushfield Street, are planning a tour of the borough’s arts groups for local MPs in the New Year to showcase their work.