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Cuts to arts grant ‘show a serious lack of imagination’

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WRITERS and artists, including former hostage Terry Waite CBE, have expressed dismay at cuts made by the Economic Development committee to the Arts Commission grant.

Last year the grant given to the Arts Commission was £37,000.

It has been axed alongside the committee’s support of the Sports Commission of £31,400 with no consultation.

Mr Waite visited the island this year as part of the Guernsey Literary Festival – one former recipient of an Arts Commission grant – to talk about his numerous works and about his experience spending nearly five years in solitary confinement at the hands of Hezbollah in Lebanon.

‘During the course of a year I attend and speak at many book and arts festivals. Without exception such events draw large numbers of people to the locality where they are held and the local economy benefits accordingly. Of course, it is difficult to be exact as to how much extra trade is generated but suffice to say it is significant.

‘There is no doubt in my mind that Guernsey is a delightful location and people love to visit the island. But special events, such as the arts festivals, are invaluable in attracting new people, not only from the mainland but from further abroad. The local economy needs visitors and through the [Guernsey Literary] festival the island has been able to attract a considerable number.'

Full story in today's Guernsey Press

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