Philippa Simpson

Royal Bank Tower
Margaret Bates




BRBAC Grants
Some years ago the Borough Council asked BRBAC to take responsibility for grant funding to the area's voluntary arts groups, and we have gladly fulfilled that function, alongside our other activities, since that time.

As we've recently advised you though, we've unfortunately been advised by the Council that our grant has been reduced to zero, with no prospect of it being reintroduced in the future. Support of the community arts is apparently not in line with the Council's new strategy and priorities. You will understand that we are very disappointed by this decision and have tried to seek a reversal, but without success.

So as a consequence we will not be able to run a grants process this year or for the foreseeable future. For the future we would encourage all societies in need of funds to revert to the process of applying directly to the Council, in the hope that their individual application is seen as sufficiently compelling. Information on how to apply is obtained via the Council website:

As part of our service to members, we will in due course publish guidance on the full range of grant funding opportunities available in the Borough, and Sharon Scotton, who is well versed in this area, has agreed to offer one-to-one advice as necessary to members needing help. Sharon can be contacted on 01737 241 965, 07961 948804 or

Although disappointing, we intent to treat this situation as a milestone and following the feedback from last year's AGM, work constructively to reshape BRBAC's role and offering for the future.

BRBAC Chairmanship & Committee
At the 2019 AGM members discussed the future of the BRBAC in light of the current funding challenges. There was a strong feeling that an important role remained for the organisation in representing the voluntary arts in the Borough, and suggestions were made regarding increasing the level of activity the BRBAC undertakes, as well as the opportunity to encourage more involvement by member representatives on the BRBAC Executive Committee. There was a sense that this moment represents a milestone in the organisation’s existence.

BRBAC Chairman, Tim Sinclair, has been overseeing activities since 1988, and as many members will know, Tim and his family moved to the Midlands a decade or so ago. Tim has made this work over the years but with the latest evolution of BRBAC, he has decided that now is the time to hand on the reigns to someone else.

Sharon Scotton, of Orbit Shed, and a member of the BRBAC Executive committee for a number of years, responsible for the last three BRBAC Arts Festivals, has offered to take on the role and will be working with Tim to transition in the run up to the next Annual General Meeting in July 2020, when the handover, if approved by members, will take place.

If there are any representatives who would like to put themselves forward to serve on the BRBAC Committee from that time, please let Tim (0771 931 8831, or Sharon (01737 241 965, know.

‘Arts Take Part’ Online Diary
One of the requests by members at the 2019 AGM was for the ability to update group event information on the BRBAC diary more frequently than once a quarter.

To answer this request, we are proposing to supplement our existing static diary page which BRBAC produces on a quarterly basis, with an updatable version, linked to the main site. This updatable diary site would be a version of the ‘Arts Take Part’ website, which was used by many societies during the 2019 BRBAC Arts Festival.
Groups would still be asked to provide their event information to by the usual deadlines, and we would email this out to contacts as currently, as well as placing the information on the main BRBAC website diary page.

However, with their own log-in, groups would also now have access to the Arts Take Part site, with the ability to place their information themselves and update it as and when they wish.

The new approach will be discussed with members at the AGM, likely to be scheduled for July.

Copy deadline for next newsletter: 24th May 2020

Diary to
Info from Tim Sinclair 0771 931 8831