What do the proposed public sector cuts mean for us?

What do proposed public sector cuts mean for Seven Stories?

Many friends and users are getting in touch to ask what Newcastle City Council’s proposal to cut its arts and culture budget means for us. The Council is proposing to cut its funding to all arts organisations by 100% by 2015/16 as a measure to save £90m, in response to cuts imposed by the Coalition government. Our grant from the Council is 13% of our income. That's the equivalent to the funds we spent on our learning and outreach work. It is proposed that the cuts are phased over 2 years, to give us time plan the future direction of our work and develop our income generation strategies.

We understand that the Council is faced with hard decisions. Newcastle City Council, along with Arts Council England, helped to fund the building of Seven Stories and both have been regular funders ever since we opened. We want to work with them to find solutions that ensure that Seven Stories continues to thrive and make a unique contribution to our childhood culture in Britain, the North East and the City of Newcastle.

The founding of a brand new organisation to save, share and celebrate our literary inheritance for children in 1996 took vision and courage. Since we opened in 2005 over 1¼m people have enjoyed a Seven Stories experience. In just 7 years we have gained National status. This has taken dedication, hard work and belief. We know it won’t be easy, but we will build on these strengths.

Kate Edwards, Chief Executive.

You can help us in 3 ways:

1. Send Newcastle City Council an email – The Council is consulting on its proposed cuts. We are concerned that the withdrawal of all funding for the arts threatens the viability and reputation of Newcastle as a place that values the role of arts, culture and heritage in making a place where people and families want to live, learn, work, enjoy and invest.

The views of our users and friends are important. Please contact the City Council telling them:

  • What you enjoy and value most about Seven Stories
  • Why it’s important that Britain has a National Centre for Children’s Books
  • Why children’s literature, and good access to it, is critical in inspiring new generations of readers, fuelling aspiration and confidence on a child’s journey to adulthood.

Email: letstalk@newcastle.gov.uk - The consultation period ends on 1st Feb 2013.
Please do copy us in at info@sevenstories.org.uk

2. Join our Friends Scheme or make a donation - The good news is that we can match £ for £ every donation to Seven Stories through Arts Council England’s philanthropy fund, Catalyst. Better still - ask a friend to join as well and more than double your support!

3. Visit us regularly and enjoy what we do – join our annual pass scheme for unlimited access to Seven Stories all year round, as well as advance notice of events, previews and offers in our shop.

“Seven Stories truly is a place of wonder – creative, energetic, inspirational, optimistic. Like the best books, (and the best children) it is serious and playful, rigorous and fun, civilised and slightly wild.”

David Almond, author, Seven Stories patron and donor to the Collection.

 Click here to find out things you may not know about Seven Stories.