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Tuesday 16 September 2014

'Funding cuts' forced closure of Red Kettle

Conor Kane

Published 16/08/2014 | 02:30

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The board of the Red Kettle Theatre Company in Waterford has blamed the combination of "severe cuts" to funding and six years of economic collapse for the closure of the award-winning body.

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It was confirmed on Thursday that the 29-year-old company had gone into liquidation due to trading difficulties and a statement issued by the board yesterday said Red Kettle was no longer a viable enterprise.

The closure spells the loss of "several" full-time and part-time jobs, according to the board.

The statement said the move was "the cumulative effect of recent and severe cuts to funding and grant aid, set against a background of six years of economic erosion, with Waterford being especially hard hit".

Arts Council funding to theatre groups such as Red Kettle has declined in recent years and the Waterford-based company's funding went from €226,000 in 2008 to €145,595 last year.

Last year's funding from the Arts Council paid for youth projects as well as a nationwide tour of Red Kettle's last major play, Beyond the Blue Sky.

Among the company's founders in 1985 was renowned playwright Jim Nolan. Red Kettle's first production was his play The Gods are Angry, Miss Kerr.

The board said Red Kettle was "consistently and well-supported by a number of local bodies", including the city council and Waterford Youth Committee and also had the goodwill of the people of Waterford behind it.

"But ultimately this was not enough to secure it."

Irish Independent

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