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Last Updated: Monday, 15 September, 2003, 12:35 GMT 13:35 UK
Cash shortage hits 10m arts centre
Fact centre, Liverpool
Fact has been hit by problems almost since it opened
A prestigious 10m purpose-built arts centre has been forced to seek emergency loans to cover repair costs.

Liverpool's Fact (Film, Art and Creative Technology) centre says it needs the money to fix three of its four cinemas which were closed after tiles fell from the ceiling of one of them in April.

The Wood Street centre was billed as one of the city's flagship developments in its successful bid to become European Capital of Culture.

One of the cinema screens has since re-opened but the other two are not expected to be in use until the middle of November.

Managers have denied reports that the loans showed the centre, which opened in February, was now experiencing a wider cash crisis.

If you believe in the importance of culture and the arts in regeneration then when problems occur you stand behind the project and support it
Councillor Mike Storey, Leader of Liverpool City Council
The centre has asked for money from Liverpool City Council, North West Development Agency, and Arts Council England.

Managers said it was to help its cash flow while the question of who was liable for the cinema closures was resolved.

Eddie Berg, Fact's executive director, said "When the ceiling failed in screen 3 I was absolutely devastated.

"All of our key funders, including Liverpool City Council, have worked together to help us resolve the challenges as quickly and effectively as possible.

'Cultural landscape'

"It's a testament to their commitment and conviction in supporting Fact that the key funders have responded in this way.

"Fact is going to be a major part of Liverpool's cultural landscape for a very long time."

Councillor Mike Storey, leader of Liverpool City Council, said "The Fact project itself is outstanding and won national praise as the country's only dedicated centre for film and video technology.

"Clearly in the construction of the building something has gone wrong but if you believe in the importance of culture and the arts in regeneration then when problems occur you stand behind the project and support it."

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