A leading Derry community arts organisation said it is now in doubt whether it can ‘keep the lights on’ this year due to a £32,000 shortfall in funding to cover running costs.
Greater Shantallow Community Arts has now requested Derry City & Strabane District Council intervene to help address the crisis now facing the GCSA’s Studio 2 in Galliagh.
Ollie Green, GSCA Artistic Director, said that reductions in core funding from the Arts Council and unsuccessful bids to council and other funding bodies meant that heating, electricity, lighting, insurance, telephone and maintenance costs cannot now be met.
Mr Green has also written to local politicians calling for them to intervene in support the organisation, which, he said, is a vital local resource with over 1,200 people coming through the doors weekly, making it one of the busiest arts organisations in the north.
GSCA have also now called on service users and parents to lobby politicians.
Mr Green said that GCSA’s bid for funding from the Council was deemed ineligible because we had submitted it a day late after a mix up over the submission dates, which were changed from the previous year. “This decision has deprived us of vital resources that during 2017/18 allowed us engage over 1,200 local people in arts programmes on a weekly basis at our Studio2 Community Arts Centre,” he said.
He added that there was now an “imminent prospect” of Studio 2 not being able to keep its doors open.
Mr Green previously said the organisation has been refused permission to apply for support under the Neighbourhood Renewal process.
A spokesperson for Derry City and Strabane District Council said that all funding applicants must adhere to the same guidelines in terms of their applications.
The spokesperson said: “This is a fair and equitable process which ensures that all candidates are judged equally on the merit of their submission.
“If anyone has any concerns or questions around an application then they are asked to contact the Council directly on 02871 253253 where an officer will be happy to advise.”