21st February 2024

A Collective Response to the BCC Cuts from the Arts and Culture Sector in Birmingham

We are devastated at what the recently announced Birmingham City Council cuts could mean for Birmingham and the impact that they would have on people’s daily lives across the city. The arts, culture and heritage industries play a vital role in the economic and social life of our city; enhancing people’s lives, supporting jobs and putting Birmingham on the world-stage.

In the face of ongoing austerity and reduction in public funding, alongside covid and rising inflation, the arts and culture sector has continued to be resilient. We remain open, and continue to welcome audiences, work with communities, and support artists in Birmingham, the UK and internationally; and as the sector responsible for the talent, development, and inspiration pipelines for the UK’s global economic and reputational success, we don’t plan on stopping.

The city council’s proposals would see investment in the cultural sector cut by 60% in 2024 and 100% in 2025.

The proposed cut in funding will jeopardise a role in our small team at Sampad as this funding covers the majority of the costs of our Learning Manager. This role enabled us to engage with over 4,700 young people through South Asian arts and heritage projects last year. 

The investment from Birmingham City Council also plays a critical role in enabling us to run our arts and wellbeing programmes right in the heart of communities, engaging many local residents who do not engage with creativity in other ways. This includes both our Create & Change project in Washwood Heath, which delivers weekly creativity sessions for women and our BEDLAM Arts & Mental Health programmes. These vital initiatives receive support from trusts and foundations and the core backing from Birmingham City Council is crucial in attracting additional funding. Without this support, securing the necessary funds for these programmes will prove increasingly challenging.

As members and affiliates of Culture Central, we continue to work together to advocate for the vital work taking place across Birmingham’s cultural sector. We call for creative solutions towards continued investment in the arts, and commit to collaborating with the council on a clear strategy to secure a bright future for our city.