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Tower Hamlets councillors object to Rich Mix bail-out

PUBLISHED: 19:00 02 August 2010 | UPDATED: 16:17 05 October 2010

TOWN Hall bosses will be deciding tonight whether to give a cash lifeline to the troubled Rich Mix arts centre to help keep it afloat. The troubled Bethnal Green s crisis-hit arts project has been forced to go cap in hand once again to Tower Hamlets cou

TOWN Hall bosses will be deciding tonight whether to give a cash lifeline to the troubled Rich Mix arts centre to help keep it afloat.

The troubled Bethnal Green's crisis-hit arts project has been forced to go cap in hand once again to Tower Hamlets council to ask for a bail-out to save it from going under.

The centre in Bethnal Green Road is asking for £500,000 to pay-off its looming deficit but council officers are also suggesting the Town Hall could hand over additional instalments over the next year that would amount to more than £2m.

The council's Strategic Development Committee will be discussing a possible bail-out tonight.

But around 13 councillors, including Cabinet members Marc Francis and Abdal Ullah and Lib Dem councillor Stephanie Eaton have written a joint letter to the committee to object to the bail-out.

According to a report which will be presented to the committee, the centre has already received £3.9m of funding from the council since it opened in 2006, including a loan of £850,000 which has not yet been repaid.

And in 2007, the centre was also forced to call on the Arts Council for some extra financial help despite receiving £700,000 from it every year.

Officers have given the committee four options to debate which would involve giving the centre some of the section 106 money from the 25-storey block of flats being built opposite on the corner of Bethnal Green Road and Sclater Street.

The plans will be discussed at Mulberry Place from 7pm.


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