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Norfolk festival hit by major funding cuts

PUBLISHED: 09:05 14 March 2015 | UPDATED: 12:51 14 March 2015

NNF15 - Wolf's Child will be performed. Photo: Steve Tanner.

NNF15 - Wolf's Child will be performed. Photo: Steve Tanner.

studio@stevetanner.co.uk

One of Norfolk’s biggest arts festival has been hit with a 90pc funding cut – but organisers have promised this year’s event will not be affected.

The Norfolk and Norwich Festival have announced funding from Norfolk County Council has been slashed from £83,400 to just £8,442 for 2015/16, after the council cut its overall arts budget by £150,000.

The recently announced 2015 festival programme, which organisers calls one of their “most exciting and ambitious to date” and starts on Friday, May 8, was planned with knowledge that a significant county council cut might take place.

“It is a sad day to see Norfolk County Council ending its commitment as one of the festival’s principal funders,” said the festival artistic director William Galinksy. “We are working hard to ensure the festival can remain exciting and original for 2016 and beyond and are very grateful to Norwich City Council and the Arts Council for their continued investment and support.”

Margaret Wilkinson, vice chair of the communities committee at Norfolk County Council, said the central government funding has been cut by £85 million over the past fours years and the prolonged austerity will continue over several more years.

She said: “Over the same period demand for services has increased, so the council must take some tough decisions in order to balance its budget. But the vast savings required cannot be achieved through efficiency measures alone so other cutbacks will have to take place.”

The festival has promised 17 days of classical and contemporary music, art, theatre, circus, outdoor shows, literature, and more. Highlights include a cardboard recreation of St Peter Mancroft Church and a special City of Literature programme.

Festival organisers have said they have successfully expanded the number of sponsors in recent years and are in strong position to find a principle sponsor for the future.

For a full list of events, visit http://www.edp24.co.uk/norfolk_and_norwich_festival_2_17430

What are your thoughts on the funding cuts? Email rebecca.murphy@archant.co.uk

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