Monday 09 December 2019
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Politicians agree long-term arts funding commitment

Politicians agree long-term arts funding commitment

Tuesday 07 May 2019

Politicians agree long-term arts funding commitment


Jersey's struggling arts, culture and heritage sector is set to get a big boost after politicians agreed to increase its funding from 2020.

Following a vote in the States Assembly on Friday, the government will now have to commit to increasing the amount spent on the arts each year in its Government Plan for 2020 to 2023 up to 1% of the total budget.

Based on 2016 figures, this could equate to an additional £2.3million annual boost for the sector.

Jersey_Opera_House_Jersey_Arts_Centre.jpg

Pictured: The proposals came in response to a report that warned Jersey's main theatres could face a curtain call without more funding.

The decision came following proposals by Deputy Montfort Tadier, the temporarily suspended Assistant Minister for Culture, who told Express his proposals aimed to ensure the arts were still protected despite there currently being no figurehead while future government spending plans are under development.

Speaking ahead of the debate, he explained that his plan was a response to some of the recent concerns raised over arts funding, particularly by the Chairs of the Arts Centre and Opera House who had said their future was uncertain 

Deputy Tadier added his proposals aimed to bring Jersey up to the European standard - as recommended in an independent report, which suggested the Arts Centre and Opera House may have to close without more funding - which, in turn, could have a positive impact on islanders' wellbeing and the wider economy.

Those arguments were advanced by both the Deputy, and numerous other States Members, during Friday's debate.

Treasury Minister Deputy Susie Pinel was not in favour. She said that, while she supports arts, heritage and culture, funding for the sector should be considered in line with the development of the Government Plan, with resources allocated "strategically".

Her arguments failed to command a majority, however, with 27 politicians voting in favour of Deputy Tadier's proposal.

In addition to the Treasury Minister, 14 voted against: the Chief Minister Senator John Le Fondré; Senators Sarah Ferguson and Steve Pallett; Constables John Le Bailly, Chris Taylor and Deirdre Mezbourian; and Deputies Linsday Ash, Gregory Guida, David Johnson, Kevin Lewis, Steve Luce, Judy Matin, Richard Renouf and Graham Truscott.

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