Kingston Council’s decision to withdraw Rose Theatre funding is a ‘great shock’

The Rose Theatre’s management have accused Kingston council of failing to consult them or their partners on the decision to withdraw its funding.

According to an open letter by Chris Foy, Rose Theatre’s chairman, all financial support by Kingston Council will be withdrawn in 2022.

This was described as a ‘great shock’, due to the lack of consultation.

The theatre hosts a number of events, including an accessible festival for disabled young people called ‘Let Me In’, and the chance for college students to showcase their work, which will be put at risk due to budget cuts.

A spokesman for the Rose Theatre said: Rose Theatre Kingston has been vital to the community it serves throughout its 11-year life. The support from the Royal Borough of Kingston allows young people across the borough to take part in and experience world class theatre.

“Total withdrawal of council funds would place great uncertainty around the future of these and other programmes from which the people of Kingston benefit directly.”

The council has blamed the budget cuts on central government, and pledged £531,000 over the next three years.

A council statement said: “At a time when our budgets have been significantly cut, we need to prioritise how we spend the money available to us.

“This means making some tough decisions to ensure we can continue to provide vital social care services for children and adults as well as the borough’s most vulnerable residents and universal services such as waste collection and street cleaning.”

Gavin and Stacey star Alison Steadman performed at theatre in 2012 alongside Fresh Meat’s Zawe Ashton in Michael Frayn’s Here.

A production of the play Miss Julie performed at the Rose Theatre later transferred to the West End.

The theatre receives no funding from Arts Council England.

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