York Literature Festival future uncertain despite £6,000 grant

The grant helps but the festival needs further funding
The grant helps but the festival needs further funding

The future of York Literature Festival is still in doubt after a grant of £6,236 from the Arts Council, its organiser told Event.

The festival takes place annually in March and has been run on a voluntary basis after York City Council stopped funding the event in 2009.

A grant this month from the Arts Council gives financial security to next year’s event, but longer-term funding is needed for it to continue, according to the head of the voluntary committee.

Miles Salter, festival organiser, told Event: "The grant makes things considerably easier for 2013 because we won’t be scrabbling around to find money for publicity and paying fees for artists.

"But beyond that there’s still a question mark over the event’s long term future. We’ve struggled on a voluntary basis; it’s a tough time for the arts. I’m keen to get a generous sponsor with an interested in the arts – maybe with a Yorkshire connection."

This year’s festival attracted a record 1,200 people and took around £5,000 in ticket income. Next year’s event will feature British crime writer Peter Robinson whose mystery Inspector Banks novels inspired the current ITV series DCI Banks.

Salter added: "When the council pulled out of funding the festival it was a great shame because it had barely had a chance to properly get going. The festival has huge potential. With around seven million tourist visitors each year to York, an easily navigable town centre and great local venues, the ingredients are all there for a nationally recognised event".

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