Hurrah! Good news for Jacksons Lane Arts Centre.
It has been under threat of closure since last year when Cllr Neil Williams and I went personally to beg the Arts Council to carry on with its grant – and got a one year reprieve. The year is up – and on Wednesday the Arts Council will decide its future. Haringey Council has been the absolute sticking point – unwilling to commit any extra money at all – which is the price the Arts Council has been demanding as they want to see council commitment if they are going to put in their money too.
We (myself and the Highgate councillors) sent out an email asking people to email Matt Cooke (Labour Exec Member in charge of this) to give more money and save the centre. Cllr Cooke by the looks of it is not happy to have had pressure applied and is trying to say Haringey was always going to find some money. And pigs might have flown. People power has really made the difference. Thanks to all those who responded.
Here’s Neil’s email update on the issue:
In a letter sent from Haringey to the Arts Council on Friday – after your huge response – Haringey has now relented, and finally upped its offer of funding! This is very encouraging, and the ball is now back in the court of the Arts Council.
Claims from Haringey Council that it was always prepared to meet the Arts Council’s demands are totally untrue.
The Arts Council has long since insisted that Haringey take more responsibility for the funding of the centre – something that Haringey Council has persistently refused to do. Over the past year, Haringey has refused to up the centre’s core grant of £55,000, as the Arts Council has urged. In their own report to their decision-making body due next week, the Arts Council states:
Haringey has consistently stated that it is not in a position to offer additional capital and revenue funding to Jacksons Lane.
When we asked again for the the extra £50,000 on 22 December, the lead councillor didn’t even reply. As recently as last week, Haringey Council was refusing to help, offering only to provide half a day in officer time – nowhere near enough to help Jacksons Lane.
It really is your pressure that has made the difference – so many may thanks! We will keep you updated on progress.