End of the road for City Arts

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BUDGET cuts are being blamed for the closure of an arts organisation.

Durham City Arts (DCA) will shut in March, after producing programmes and events for 21 years.

Among the organisation’s successful productions was the Durham Book Festival, the Brass Music Festival, and Enlightenment in 2008 – which was the forerunner of the Lumiere Festival of Light.

DCA is run from the community centre in Front Street, Framwellgate Moor.

It is jointly funded by Durham County Council and the Arts Council.

Both organisations have withdrawn their funding as they cope with their own budget cuts, leaving DCA no option but to close.

DCA board chairman Sue Pitts said: “The work the company has done over the years has become an intrinsic part of Durham’s cultural life.

“The initiatives developed with hard-to-reach groups, some of which has won awards, may well be lost. That would be tragic because art can truly be transformative.

“We simply have to hope that in the immediate future, Arts Council England and local authorities can sustain and develop artistic and creative opportunity in these key areas.

“We want to thank all our funders who have enabled us to do some outstanding things.

“Our debt to the artists we have worked with is great and it is sad that it ends.”