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Financial climate puts an end to The Making
BASINGSTOKE’S craft development agency The Making has announced that it is to close at the end of September after a decade in town.
The cultural project was founded in 2002 to promote contemporary art, craft and design, attempting to inspire new audiences. It originated projects including the Theatre of Making, Skills in the Making, Festival Makers and the successful World Party in the Park, which took place in Eastrop on June 20.
Supported by Hampshire County Council (HCC), Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council (BDBC) and a range of trusts and foundations including the National Lottery, Arts Council England and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, The Making was also the recipient of several A Place to Be Proud Of awards.
Despite this support, the organisation’s director Margaret Benton explained that funding had been inadequate from the beginning.
She said: “We made the decision to close last year as we had a number of projects coming to an end in 2012 and we didn’t want to see things peter out.
“Basic core arts management needs to be paid for and we never had that. We were supposed to be in a building and then the county council decided that the money wasn’t there.
“The vision was there, the people were there but the financial climate was always against us.”
Ms Benton added: “We are very proud of what we have achieved. We have developed innovative arts education and public art programmes of national significance.
“Since 2002, we have raised around £2 million to bring visual arts and crafts of the highest quality to people.”
Ms Benton is, however, optimistic about The Making’s legacy. The Paul Hamlyn Foundation has provided a transition grant for Skills in the Making, the national professional art development programme for teachers.
It is hoped that the World Party in the Park will be taken over by other groups, too.
Councillor Elaine Still, Cabinet member for communities, sport and culture at Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, said: “It is a great shame The Making is to close.
“I would like to thank and congratulate the charity and its director Margaret Benton for successfully bringing high quality visual arts and crafts to many of the borough’s residents and schools.”
She said despite tough times the council had carried on giving £20,000 to The Making.
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