Celebrations as Gallery and Glass Centre win funds

The National Glass Centre in Sunderland

The National Glass Centre in Sunderland

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THE future looks bright for Sunderland’s burgeoning arts and culture scene – thanks to a £1.1million investment.

Despite arts organisations across the country facing the worst crisis in decades due to Government cuts, Sunderland’s leading arts institutes have been saved.

After huge cuts to its budget, the Arts Council funding body announced today which projects it will be supporting from next year.

Among those it has chosen tare the National Glass Centre and the Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, in Fawcett Street, which have been pledged £1.1million over three years.

Nationally, 1,333 arts organisations submitted an application to receive funding from the 2012-15 national portfolio funding programme.

A spokesperson for the University of Sunderland and Sunderland City Council submission team said: “We are very pleased indeed to be placed on the national portfolio funding programme. Our inclusion is testament to the quality of the arts offer in Sunderland and clear recognition of Sunderland’s contribution to the arts at a national level.

“The funding will help the National Glass Centre and the Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art play a significant role in the arts offer for the city, the North East, as well as nationally. This new arrangement will also lead to a greater collaboration between the university and the city council, allowing us to deliver a very strong and attractive visual arts provision.”

After the Government cuts, the Arts Council now has to operate with an overall cut to its budget of 29.6 per cent and it has limited its cuts to the overall budget for funded organisations to 14.9 per cent over the next four years.

This means a number of organisations have lost their funding, some have received more money and some less.

The deadline for this new funding programme was in January this year and arts organisations had to demonstrate how they would fulfil the five goals set out by the Arts Council.