Dame Judi Dench talks of ‘heartbreak’ as Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds faces funding cut of £100,000
A world famous actress and dame of the British Empire has reacted to the news that a Suffolk theatre she is a life patron for could face a funding cut of £100,000.
Dame Judi Dench, famed for roles in James Bond films such as GoldenEye and Skyfall, Murder on the Orient Express and Shakespeare in Love, said she was ‘deeply shocked’ at the news that the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds, could have the funding stopped by Suffolk County Council.
The county council is proposing £500,000 in savings by stopping core funding to art and museum sector organisations from April 2025 as part of £64.7m budget cuts.
In a statement on the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds Facebook page, Dame Judi said: “As Theatre Royal’s Life Patron, I am deeply shocked to hear of the proposed cut to its funding by Suffolk County Council.
“Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds plays a vital role in the lives of so many, especially those most vulnerable. The removal of this support is heart-breaking, regional theatre is the foundation of British theatre and its place in our lives must be protected.”
Owen Calvert-Lyons, artistic director, said: “The proposed cut from Suffolk County Council poses a very real threat.
“Local authority budgets are under extreme pressure, and we understand that councils are having to make difficult decisions, but ceasing to invest in arts and culture is short-term thinking.”