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School funding is being cut - there's little doubt about that.  Funding changes and increased costs mean schools in Reading have less mo...

27 Jun 2017

An outstanding day for art and culture in Reading

I knew today was the day we'd find out if Reading Museum and the Museum of English Rural Life had been awarded joint National Portfolio status by Arts Council England.  I was in London on union business when I received the news and was delighted to see they had been successful. 

Once I got home I had a look on the Arts Council website and was even more delighted when I saw Readipop and Culture Mix Arts on the list! Between them they will receive over £1.7 million in funding during the four years of their National Portfolio Status. Add to this our recent success with the Great Place Scheme (more info here) this is incredible news for Reading.

There is a blog from Arts Council Chief Executive Darren Henley.  You can read it in full here but here is an excerpt:

'Today, we announced our new National Portfolio for 2018-22 - a fresh, ambitious and wide-ranging group of organisations that we believe will bring new energy to the arts and cultural sector, while reaching more people in more places than ever before.

In all, 831 organisations will receive a total of £1.6 billion over four years for 844 projects. Importantly, we’ll be investing £170 million more outside London and there will be significantly increased investment in places like Reading, Bradford, Plymouth, Northumberland and Stoke.'

As lead councillor for Culture, Sport and Consumer Services I couldn't be more pleased and, having been chair of the Art and Heritage Forum and a supporter of the arts for many years, I think it well deserved by all those awarded with National Portfolio status today.

I hope this encourages those organisations who weren't awarded the status this time and those who may apply for the next round of awards. Reading really is the place to watch!


Discover more here: http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/NPO

18 Jun 2017

West Reading Great Get Together - a big thank you

Our  West Reading Great Get Together is over and it was a wonderful event.  People from all over Reading came along and had fun in the sun.  A big thank you to 103rd Oxford Road Scouts for their BBQ, Eddie Winship for his music and PA, Jasmine for helping me with the paperwork and organising the leaflet gazebo and Clare for getting our posters up along the Oxford Road.

Matt Rodda, the new Labour MP for Reading East also popped in as well as our local PCSO's and friends from the Art & Heritage Forum who couldn't stay for the whole event.

Here are a few pictures from the day:








12 Jun 2017

Tales from the Trails at Pinic in the Park!

We are delighted to announce that the award winning Eddie Winship will be telling Tales from the Trails at the West Reading Great Get Together!  These stories are perfect for children of all ages.  Eddie is well know for supporting Reading's community and we were very pleased when he offered to come along.