Stirling Council in Scotland is proposing to close The Changing Room gallery as part of a range of cuts aimed at saving £9m in 2013/14.
A council document outlining 19 proposals to reduce spending, to be voted on at a special meeting of the council on Thursday (21 February), includes cuts to the city’s two key cultural venues, The Tolbooth and The Changing Room (which is situated within The Tolbooth).
Proposal 12 states: ‘The proposal is to save the £51.7k budget by either closing the gallery [Changing Room] by the end of 2012/13 or identifying an alternative (no cost) venue without the need for staffing.’
A further £52,000 cut is proposed from The Tolbooth’s annual budget of £517,000.
The Changing Room opened in 1997 and has hosted exhibitions by some of Scotland’s leading contemporary artists, including Nathan Coley, Karla Black, Sue Tompkins and Hayley Tompkins, Joanne Tatham & Tom O’Sullivan and Torsten Lauschmann.
The current show at The Changing Room is a solo exhibition by Glasgow-based artist David Sherry. Commenting on the proposals, he said: “The Changing Room has a great history and a fantastic programme – the artists and projects that have happened there make an impressive list. The gallery is held in the highest regard and it would be disastrous to lose it.”
As well as the closure of The Changing Room, there are also proposed cuts to Artlink, an arts agency working across central Scotland, which will lose its annual budget of £11,080. Other organisations losing funding include Stirling and District Arts Forum (£6,580) which distributes grants to a number of small voluntary arts groups, and the MacRobert Arts Centre at Stirling University (£14,890).
A full run down of the proposed cuts across the Stirling Council area can be read here.