Speaking about the decision to temporarily close controversial West Bromwich arts centre The Public from November, the leader of Sandwell Council said:
“Despite what some reports may have implied, we have not voted to permanently close The Public building – and we’ve never said we were going to.“Sandwell Arts Trust didn’t want any further short-term agreements and asked us for a minimum five-year deal. We are not in a position to offer this because of the current economic climate and central government cuts the council is facing year on year.
“Sandwell Arts Trust have done a great job but the financial circumstances mean The Public can’t continue in its current form.“We wouldn’t be in this situation if it wasn’t for the scale of government cuts. We have tough decisions to take – and as leader I have focused on protecting vital frontline services.”