Alliance Party Alderman Yvonne Boyle has expressed concerns, first made public in November 2019, that a further review to the Council financial support to the Riverside Theatre may be considered as part of current council efficiencies.
Alderman Boyle was speaking after meeting with Riverside Theatre Management. Alderman Boyle said: “I acknowledge that across all Council activities, extensive and broad ranging efficiencies need to be considered along with strengthened accountability structures among Council management. There are ongoing urgent negotiations taking place on all levels, which Alliance endorses, to address our strategic financial challenges.
“However, further undercutting local arts provision is a false economy, which risks losing our regional theatre with all its community benefits. The Theatre has recently run a ‘Fighting Words Creative Writing Workshop’ for over 180 children, based on its core principles of accessibility and inclusivity, but now it needs our fighting words to save it.
“The initial funding cut in November 2019 was 10%. Any further amounts considered could be offset or avoided by efficiencies in other areas, such as how Councillors receive Council papers or sharing cars for Council journeys.
“I therefore appeal to all who use the Theatre – children, family members and individuals involved in drama groups, orchestra groups, U3A and youth groups to lobby their own Causeway Councillor about this before the Rate Strike on Tuesday 4th February and indeed indeed attend this meeting in the public’s gallery. The initial decision to reduce funding was passed by a majority of four votes. We can do this.”