The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 7 May 2019
Missing Out - Paul McCartney has accused a government funding body of having a “flawed process” that has seen the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts miss out on a potential £16m of funding. The Parliamentary Ombudsman is currently investigating the decision-making process of the Higher Education Funding Council for England, which has now been replaced by the Office for Students.
According to LIPA, which McCartney co-founded, the institution has lost out on £16m in potential funding over a four-year period due to a “series of errors” by the government body. LIPA says it has also lost a further £160,000, which has been spent on the first steps of a judicial review.
When applying for institution-specific funding in 2016, LIPA claims it was “failed at the first stage of the process” and was only allowed to proceed to the second stage following an appeal. By this time it discovered “all the funding had already been allocated”.
According to LIPA, HEFCE wrongly advised the institution that the decision-making process could not be challenged, so the drama school began a judicial review.
McCartney, lead patron at LIPA, who co-founded the drama school 24 years ago with Mark Featherstone-Witty, said: “I helped to bring LIPA into life during very difficult times for Liverpool.
“It is now a highly respected institution all over the world. Our funding was recently affected by what to me, and the heads of every university in Liverpool, was a flawed process.”
He added: “LIPA is my passion and part of my legacy. It would not be fair to allow injustice to affect its future. I sincerely hope the government will correct this error and help us to continue our work successfully into the future.”
A spokeswoman for the Office for Students said: “The Office for Students is cooperating with the ombudsman’s ongoing investigation into decisions made by HEFCE, which pre-date the creation of the Office for Students. This is a live investigation and it would not be appropriate to comment any further.”
Rebranding - Management of Newcastle City Hall is to transfer from the Newcastle Theatre Royal Trust to Academy Music Group, the organisation behind the O2 venues. As part of the move, the hall will be rebranded O2 City Hall Newcastle.
Newcastle Theatre Royal Trust took over management of the 2,135-seat venue in 2016. It currently hosts a range of shows including comedy and musicals. It will join a portfolio of venues that includes O2 Academy Brixton and O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire.
AMG chief operating officer Graham Walters said: “We look forward to presenting a full range of live music and events and securing the venue’s future for many years to come.” The deal follows an agreement between AMG, Fusion Lifestyle and Newcastle City Council.
Prince on Stage - New musical The Prince of Egypt has been announced to open in the West End. Based on the DreamWorks Animation film, the stage production will begin previews at London’s Dominion Theatre in February 2020 and will run until 12 September. Directed by Scott Schwartz and choreographed by Sean Cheesman, The Prince of Egypt has music by Stephen Schwartz and a book by Philip LaZebnik.
(Jim Evans)
7 May 2019

Latest Issue. . .

Tweets from our Friends