Bath abolishes arts funding

Bath abolishes arts funding


norman lebrecht

February 21, 2017

The ancient Roman town of Bath, which depends on heritage tourism, has said it will scrap all funding for the arts in order to save £433,000 by 2020.

That will probably spell the end of the Bath Festival.

It’s quite alarming.


  • Chris Walsh says:

    To be honest, the Bath Festival has been dying on its feet for some years. Sad, because I used to make an annual pilgrimage for many years. For some time now it’s been outclassed by the Cheltenham festival.

  • Kenneth Griffin says:

    The Bath Chronicle news report differs from the Slipped Disc version. Which is fake news? You decide.

    Bath and North East Somerset Council is saving this £433,000 over the next three years by ceasing all grants worth up to £5,000 to arts projects.

    The Council will continue to commission arts events for the next three years.

    Bath Festivals’ Council funding is for the provision of various commissioned arts events.

    So the ending of small grants has no effect on Bath Festivals’ funding.

    More detail here:

  • Isobel Buchanan says:

    I agree with Chris Walsh that the Bath Festival has been in decline for some years. The lack of financial resources has helped stymie the “international” element of the Festival which has become increasingly parochial and cut price. Would that the Bath and North East Somerset council members might take a cut in their extremely generous pay packets ( somewhere in the region of £150,000 per annum plus £30,000 annual pension pot ) if only to recognise the fact that the Arts are not a luxury but a necessity to a civilised country and a Unesco World Heritage City. So short sighted. Being a performing artist involves years of honing one’s craft and hours of practice and artists require reasonable remuneration for such diligence and devotion. For too many years such talented musicians and actors have been forced to accept underpaid work thus subsidising arts institutions. Time for change before we all go down the slippery slope of capitalism.

  • Alistair Hinton says:

    There may indeed be some element of “fake news” here but, whatever the true variety might be, it still looks far from good news.

    What will they do next? Axe the Pump Room Trio?