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Artsdepot 'disappointed' after Barnet Borough Council pulls plug on library plans
Artsdepot executives say they are “disappointed” with Barnet Borough Council for pulling the plug on plans to open a library at the centre in North Finchley.
The council announced earlier today that it was pulling out, despite having already invested more than £26,000 on the plans.
Sue Wyatt, chair of artsdepot said: “We are disappointed that the library proposal could not be implemented in spite of meeting with the council over this exciting opportunity regularly for almost two years.”
The authority spent £35,000 on launching a temporary library at the venue. This cash was provided after an underspend in the previous financial budget, but an extra £26,126 was then spent on plans to open a “landmark” library.
More than £10,000 was spent on a feasibility study and £16,000 on supporting artsdepot to develop a longer term business strategy.
In a statement Tracey Cooper, chief executive of artsdepot, said: “Despite the cut of all Barnet Council funding in 2011 (just under £200,000), and the resulting loss of a third of its staff, artsdepot, as an independent charitable organisation, has continued to offer visitors and audiences a vibrant and diverse programme of events and activities.
“Barnet Council could not recognise that in order to remain a sustainable business all artsdepot’s spaces must have a rentable value. Rent from these spaces is a key income stream, to allow us to continue delivering an exciting, high quality arts and culture offer for everyone.
“artsdepot is financially breaking even, despite the recent funding cuts, and is now looking forward to celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2014.”
A breakdown in relationship between the council and artsdepot directors has been blamed as the reason for the pull-out.
The authority now plans to invest in the existing North Finchley Library.