Updated: Friday, 13th December 2019 @ 1:58pm

Cornerhouse cuts are short-sighted, claims Manchester cinema boss

Cornerhouse cuts are short-sighted, claims Manchester cinema boss

By Natasha David-Hilton

The Cornerhouse is the latest Manchester arts body to receive news of government cuts.

The independent cinema and visual arts centre originally received £70,000 in funding each year, but is now having £59,717 of that grant deducted.

Last year the Cornerhouse put £7 back for every £1 of Arts Council funding, and contributed £6.2million to the Greater Manchester economy.

Whilst the cuts were less than expected, Dave Moutrey, Chief Executive of Cornerhouse, said: “I strongly believe that the cuts to arts funding are short-sighted.

“Most arts organisations generate far more wealth for the economy than they consume, and I would urge our funders to consider this powerful positive economic effect as they put their plans in place.”

Having recently celebrated its 25th anniversary, the Cornerhouse has said it is now working with its partners to develop innovative, creative and pragmatic solutions to this difficult situation.

Mr Moutrey added: “Obviously, any reduction in funding will potentially damage our ability to deliver innovative programmes of contemporary visual art and film and award-winning engagement and education activities.”

 He also explained it is vital for the Cornerhouse to start discussions with all their funding bodies as soon as possible to ensure they maintain organisational stability.

Councillor Mike Amesbury, Manchester City Council’s executive member for culture and leisure said: “We will continue to look carefully at where savings can be made while securing the highest level of funding possible for the city-region’s arts projects and organisations, which we recognise as vital to attracting tourism and investment into the area."

Councillor Amesbury emphasised that the council remains wholly committed to the arts and will continue to invest significantly in Manchester’s cultural programme.

The Cornerhouse has gathered a loyal following in its 25 years. Cinema –goer Vicki Griffiths, 23, said: “ I used to come here all the time, it’s terrible to think that this could damage the future of the Cornerhouse, especially as independent cinemas like this are so rare.

I’m definitely going to start coming here more.”

A Cornerhouse regular, Alex Fitton, 51, said he remembered when the cinema opened.

He added: “People forget that the Cornerhouse is a charitable organisation and needs all our support.

I hope everyone who has ever loved the Cornerhouse remembers why and we can all join together in its time of need.”

The Cornerhouse is one of 47 Manchester arts bodies facing difficult government cuts, with organisations such as the Halle Concerts Society, Manchester International Arts and the Royal Exchange Theatre also seeing their grants reduced.