Review hope for Renew Newcastle funding

THE state government will review its decision to slash funding for Renew Newcastle, after the cuts met with public outcry.

The Newcastle Herald reported  that the arts initiative,  which reinvigorates the city centre by breathing life into dozens of empty buildings, had its state funding cut.

Arts NSW knocked back Renew Newcastle’s request for $70,000 in annual funding to $30,000. This is a cut from the $50,000 a year that has typically gone to the organisation.

Newcastle MP Tim Owen spoke with Renew founder Marcus Westbury and   a review is in the works.

‘‘I’ve spoken to [Arts] Minister [George] Souris, who has agreed we need to review this decision and this will be raised with the premier on Monday,’’ Mr Owen said.

At one point the issue was the top trending story in Australia on social network Twitter, and 86.8per cent of people to respond to a Herald poll said Renew deserved more funding.

Mr Westbury said yesterday he was hopeful the government would take another look.

‘‘The response has been absolutely awesome in the past few days,’’ Mr Westbury said.

‘‘We appreciate the efforts Tim Owen has made and ... we’d really love to work with the state government to ensure this doesn’t happen again.’’

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