Bath Festivals asks for council help.

Give us a one-off financial life-line to enable us to keep going and we’ll widen our appeal.

That seems to be the deal Bath Festivals wants Bath & North East Somerset Council to agree to in asking them to invest in a sustainable future for the organisation.

A report before the council’s cabinet on July 10 says Bath Festivals has approached the council for a £75,000 loan to help it implement its new three-year business plan.

Following an assessment of Bath Festivals’ position, the cabinet is being asked to approve a one-off grant, with conditions attached, in order secure a sustainable future for the organisation.

Councillor Dine Romero, Council Leader, said: “We are committed to celebrating arts and culture across Bath and North East Somerset. The proposal set out in the report would help Bath Festivals Trust access other funding to secure a long-term, sustainable future for our valued local festivals, which contribute so much to our local economy and to the vibrancy of our area.

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Cllr Dine Romero, Leader of B&NES

“If we were to agree to the grant we would also work with Bath Festivals to encourage a programme of events that attract wider and more diverse audiences as well as for them to support the council in taking action on our Plastic Free pledge and on the council’s declaration of a Climate Emergency.”

Conditions attached to the grant, as well as support for the council’s Plastic Free pledge and the Climate Emergency resolution, would see a Bath and North East Somerset councillor added to the Bath Festivals board. The councillor would be nominated by the council leader.

A further condition would be that Bath Festivals review its staffing levels to minimise costs, and also that no bonus payments be made to Bath Festivals staff.

Bath Festivals runs the annual Bath Festival, the Children’s Literature Festival as well as creative learning opportunities for children.

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Ian Stockley, CEO Bath Festivals

Ian Stockley, chief executive of Bath Festivals, said: “Bath Festivals is hugely encouraged and grateful that the new administration appreciate the vital role that the arts takes in connecting the city and our wider community and how the festivals deliver a positive economic impact through the increased footfall and number of visitors to the city.

“We are three years into a six year transition plan of moving the previous Music and Literature Festivals into a Combined Arts Festival that serves to connect our wider community, working in collaboration and partnership with local organisations and city stakeholders.

“We very much hope Bath and North East Somerset Council will be working with us to ensure that we continue to build this wider audience over the next three years and secure a sustainable future.”

The cabinet meets to discuss the recommendation on July 10 at the Guildhall at 6.30pm. Please follow this link for details  https://democracy.bathnes.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=122&MId=4665

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