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Arts and Sport Handed To New Leisure Trust

corn exchange

8:13am 29th August 2014

As of next week the council will no longer run venues like Lynnsport, Oasis, or the Corn Exchange - they're being handed over to a new charitable trust.

It's hoped that Alive Leisure will secure the long term future of sport and the arts in West Norfolk despite the expected cuts on the way after the next election.

It joins around 35% of councils who have handed over things like libraries, sports centres, and arts to independent trusts.

It means the Council spends less money, and the Trusts can operate more cheaply by taking advantage of tax benefits on offer to charities.

But despite the successes of some, others have struggled to balance the books.

Peter Lemon is the new Chair of the Board and says from Monday they'll be looking at everything from ticket prices at swimming pools to the types of art projects they fund.

They'll also have to decide where to draw the line when it comes to minority sports, and ‘Art for Art's Sake’ compared to commercial success.

Peter told KLFM News:

“Our core funding is there, it's agreed with the Borough Council. But extra arts funding would be fantastic and no doubt we will be very competitive when it comes to trying to grab hold of that funding.

We are a charity and we have charitable objectives. We have got to fulfil all parts of the arts spectrum, which is obviously very wide, to the best of our ability and within our funding limitations.

We've decided to try some standing concerts, which haven't been done for a long time. We've got UB40 coming up which will be part seated and part standing. It means you can get more people into the Corn Exchange and that means you can book bigger acts.

The panto is quite a good commercial event, and that's been going from strength to strength over the last few years. There’s no reason why that can't improve. I'm quite positive.”


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