A Brighton art gallery has told its supporters that it will not be closing its doors despite big funding cuts.
But despite its defiance, Fabrica is being forced to cut its coat as its funding from Arts Council England comes to an end.
The latest measures include stopping the large-scale exhibition programme from April and the volunteer programme that largely ran alongside the bigger exhibitions.
In a message to the gallery’s supporters, Fabrica said: “In November, Arts Council England (ACE) informed us that they would stop funding Fabrica from April 2023, thereby removing a third of Fabrica’s annual income.
“Following their announcement, we have been exploring alternative ways to make our exhibition programme viable, without success.
“The ACE cut comes at a time of rising costs and follows a number of years over which Fabrica has absorbed other funding losses.
“As a result, we have no option but to cease our large-scale exhibition programme from April this year.
“This is an extremely difficult decision that will have a profound negative impact on our audiences, our commissioning opportunities for artists and our volunteer programme.
“Over the past 25 years, Fabrica has consistently presented a programme of high-quality exhibitions, artist commissioning and support.
“(These) have diversified Brighton and Hove’s visual arts offer, developed new audiences for the visual arts and raised the ambition of our sector to produce and present excellent work here.
“Unfortunately, a further impact is that Fabrica’s volunteer programme will also sadly go as the exhibition programme is the main driver and draw for the 120 or so volunteers we work with each year.
“Coming on top of the pandemic, we are aware that this adds to a series of losses to the local creative economy for freelancers, artists and suppliers.
“While the loss of Arts Council funding will have a huge impact on the organisation, Fabrica will not be closing its doors.
“Moving forward the focus will be on audience engagement and commercial income, allowing us to continue the valuable charitable work we do with individuals, groups and partners at Fabrica and in our local communities.
“Our aim is to reach and connect with people who face barriers to accessing the arts, by providing vital arts and wellbeing programmes for at-risk individuals.
“Our artistic programme will also continue in new ways. Driven by commercial income and operating on a smaller scale, it will continue to provide a vital undercurrent to our audience engagement activities.
“Moving forward, we will have greater flexibility to work with local and national arts programmers, artists and other creative collaborators to present a vibrant mix of creative activities, films, theatre and music.
“In the longer term we are ambitious to re-introduce a commissioned artistic programme. However, this needs a dedicated period of research and new resources so at the moment it is only an aspiration for the future.
“In the meantime, we are planning a programme of events and film screenings for 2023 and we will continue to present works by up and coming photographers via the In Between Gallery, Fabrica’s picture window into Duke Street.
“We remain committed to delivering on Fabrica’s charitable objectives and to supporting artists in the city and beyond.
“The shape that these commitments will take, in terms of the activities and services we will offer, is currently being formed and will continue to be developed over the coming months.”
Fabrica describes itself as a contemporary art gallery with an educational mission and as a visual arts organisation based in a former Regency church.
It opened 27 years ago in March 1996 in the decommissioned Holy Trinity Church, in Duke Street, on the corner of Ship Street.