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Last Updated: Friday, 8 December 2006, 15:48 GMT
Venue closure over lack of money
The Gardner Arts Centre
The Gardner Arts Centre was first opened in 1969
An arts venue in Sussex is having to close because of a lack of funding.

The Gardner Arts Centre, based on the Sussex University campus at Falmer, is to shut after the coming spring season.

Managers said they needed at least 6m to improve the grade II listed building, but artistic plans would cost 14m, which they cannot raise.

The withdrawal of council funding and more competition from other facilities in Brighton have also added to its downfall, they said.

'Real sadness'

The decision to close the 480-seat venue, which promotes more than 300 events each year, was taken on Thursday evening.

Deborah Grubb, chair of the board, said: "The real sadness is that the decision has nothing to do with the quality of work.

"The building, which we lease from the University of Sussex, is in need of significant investment and the Gardner is also faced with an increasingly competitive arts economy.

"It is better to take the decision now and close while we can still be proud of what we are achieving than to struggle on hoping for the best."

The centre opened in 1969 and was one of the first university campus arts centres in England.

Last month, Brighton and Hove City Council withdrew its annual 30,000 grant and redirected it to other city centre venues.




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