We have on numerous occasions commented on the major contribution the arts and creative industries make to our country’s economy – a contribution, according to figures publicised by the Government and the Arts Council, amounting to billions of pounds each year, as well as creating millions of jobs. The recent Culture White Paper published by the Government sets out their vision for the art and culture sectors over the coming years, and is a welcome vote of confidence in the vital contribution these sectors make to all our lives. However, the Paper also highlights challenges to funding, especially outside London. The Arts Council, which recently celebrated its 70th birthday, is a key source of funding and has committed to work with the Government and local authorities to find innovative ideas to support these sectors, including engaging with young people to ensure they can create, compose and perform as well as visit, experience and participate.
Whilst Venue is primarily concerned with promoting the eastern region’s
creative community, there are occasions when we are alerted to a need for action to preserve historic
works. One such alert is a campaign to save the former home of Foyles Bookshop in
Charing Cross Road, London, which is an important piece of the city’s architectural heritage. Many will remember the joys of browsing and buying in
Foyles, including millions of overseas tourists for whom Foyles was a magnet.
Soho Estates are trying to demolish the historic building and replace it with a
modern structure. The demolition is opposed by English Heritage, the Victorian
Society, and the Twentieth Century Society, and numerous other organisations,
but it has been approved by Westminster Council. As a last chance to halt these
plans, an online petition has been set up calling on the Mayor of London to use
his powers to stop this demolition, and readers can help by signing this, and
passing on the information to family, friends and colleagues. The petition is
Fran Goss Editor