DanceEast celebrates £2.5m Arts Council funding

DanceEast Chief Executive Assis Carreiro says the grant means she can "breathe a sigh of relief"

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DanceEast has been awarded £2.5m in funding from Arts Council England over three years, from April 2012.

The Ipswich-based dance agency is one of seven organisations to share the £11.6m awarded within Suffolk.

Aldeburgh Music, Eastern Angles, Gecko Theatre, High Tide Festival, New Wolsey Theatre and the Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds will also receive funding.

"We're thrilled to have this vote of confidence," said Assis Carreiro, chief executive of DanceEast.

Ms Carreiro said the agency needed to maximise the use of its £8.9m studio on the Ipswich Waterfront.

"A lot of people didn't get funding so we're lucky," she said.

"We have to produce world class talent and opportunities so that people think we're good and deserve to be here.

"We need to milk the building - so the public uses it and comes to performances."

The Theatre Royal is the only organisation in Suffolk to see a year-on-year fall in funding from the Arts Council - down from £127,590 in 2011/12 to £120,000 a year between 2012/13 to 2014/15.

Colin Blumenau, artistic director at the theatre, said: "We're very pleased to be included in the portfolio that the Arts Council is funding from now on.

"We're slightly disappointed that we've had a very small cut but even sadder that there are lots of other organisations that are really going to struggle from now on."

About 1,300 venues, theatres, galleries and arts groups applied for grants from the Arts Council, which had its budget cut by £100m in October's Spending Review.

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