CBSO faces funding cuts

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) has had its city council funding cut by 25 per cent. The new funding level, which comes into effect in April 2017, means CBSO will receive less public money than any other regional UK orchestra.

Nor is this reduction, which equates to GBP228,000 (€271,000), the first the orchestra has experienced: it’s public funding has already been cut by GBP1.47m since 2010. CBSO’s public funding levels are now the lowest they have been since the 1980s.

‘We are concerned and disappointed that, in the face of financial pressures, Birmingham City Council has felt it necessary to cut funding for arts and culture so much faster than local authorities in other major cities,’ said CBSO chair Bridget Blow.

‘There is global excitement about the CBSO’s future with one of the world’s most exciting young conductors, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, at the helm – but this latest cut will require us to work harder than ever to maintain the world-class concerts, learning and engagement activities which the people of Birmingham have come to expect.’

To help counter the cuts CBSO has launched Culture Central, a joint project with other arts organisations in the city. Culture Central is a development organisation that gives its cultural groups a collective voice. It has called for a complete review of the way the city and the arts sector work together.