Thursday, 13 December 2012

Creative deadline for Storey Gallery Company

The Storey Gallery space
Lancaster City Council is taking a 'tough love' approach with the publicly-funded Storey Art Gallery Company, underwriting the rent for its office space at the Storey building until the end of February 2013 but closing the gallery space.  

As we reported in March 2011, Arts Council funding for the Gallery was cut after 2011/2012.  At that time  Lancaster City Council reaffirmed its support for the local arts organisation.  At the Cabinet meeting of 4 December 2012 cabinet unanimously agreed to underwrite the rent and service charges on the office that the long established local arts organisation currently occupies in the Storey Institute, until the end of February 2013, to allow them sufficient time to prepare a fresh funding application to the Arts Council.

The Council Cabinet also reaffirmed its decision taken on the 9 October 2012 to keep the previously planned £10,700 grant to the company held back until detailed proposals regarding any specific project are brought forward by the company for consideration by Cabinet.

The Storey Gallery has been based within the Storey building for the past 21 years. John Angus, Director of the Storey Gallery Company, told Lancaster City Council:

"Our revised vision and plan focuses on the delivery of a variety of art projects outside the gallery, but in the local area, and involves the collaboration and cooperation of a variety of both local residents and regional organisations.

"We think that this mode of operation could be delivered with the support of the project grants, and could expand and contract as available resources allow.  We also think that it has the potential to reach and engage a larger and more diverse audience than we were able to do through gallery exhibitions, and so it could provide increased value for money.

"This plan involves little if any use of the gallery spaces in the Storey Institute.  We were reluctant to take
such a step as the physical gallery spaces are a significant asset, and they provide an ideal place to display certain types of visual art practices.  However, we concluded that, given the reduced level of funding which we are now receiving, and can expect to receive in future, we will not have the resources to continue to run a continuous programme of gallery exhibitions.  We would still be interested in organising occasional exhibitions, but this might depend on the future management arrangements for the building."

You can find out more about the Storey Gallery Company at http://www.storeygallery.org.uk/ or visit them on facebook.

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