Arts NSW panel backs funding cut

ARTS NSW has defended its decision not to renew the $37,000 annual funding needed to keep the Central West Writers’ Centre open next year.

Aspiring writers in the central west were dealt a blow when the co-ordinators of the support and development service were told their funding application had been unsuccessful for 2014, bringing the centre’s 17-year run to an end.

An Arts NSW spokeswoman said the centre had received funding for its annual program regularly since 1997, but as it was awarded through an open round, repeat funding was not guaranteed. 

“Arts and cultural funding in NSW is competitive and regrettably not every application can be funded,” she said.

“A panel, consisting of independent peers, assessed 105 applications for annual program funding with 67 programs awarded a total of more than $3.392 million in funding for 2014. 

“The panel assessed the application against the selection criteria advertised in the guidelines and did not recommend the application for funding.”

The central west centre was not the only writers’ centre to miss out on funding for 2014.

Arts NSW funded nine centres in 2013, but will only fund seven of the 12 writers’ centres that applied for funding in 2014.

The spokeswoman defended the amount of arts funding for the central west saying Arts NSW had committed $633,311 to organisations and projects including the Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre, Orange Regional Museum, Orange Regional Gallery and Orange Regional Conservatorium.

“The State Library of NSW has also provided $270,223 in 2013/14 to the five central west libraries as well as $80,000 or $16,000 each under the Revitalising Regional Libraries Grants program,” she said.

“Arts NSW has provided written feedback to Central West Writers’ Centre on why its application was not successful.”

Arts NSW also supports projects in regional communities through the Country Arts Support Program, administered by Regional Arts NSW.

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